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The Most Attractive Women Have the Least Casual Sex

slutWhat I’ve always suspected now has some solid evidence behind it:

Less attractive women seek casual sex as a compromise, and more attractive women avoid it. 

The University of Notre Dame has issued a press release highlighting the research of sociologist Elizabeth McClintock (H/T: Stuart Schneiderman):

Handsome Wants as Handsome Does: Physical Attractiveness and Gender Differences in Revealed Sexual Preferences

“McClintock studies the impacts of physical attractiveness and age on mate selection and the effects of gender and income on relationships.” 

Perfect for HUS!

By way of background, McClintock buys into the sexual economics model of relationships:

Couple formation is often conceptualized as a competitive, two-sided matching process in which individuals implicitly trade their assets for those of a mate, trying to find the most desirable partner and most rewarding relationship that they can get given their own assets. This market metaphor has primarily been applied to marriage markets and focused on the exchange of income or status for other desired resources such as physical attractiveness, but it is easily extended to explain partner selection in the young adult premarital dating market as well.

…Just as good looks may be exchanged for status and financial resources, attractiveness may also be traded for control over the degree of commitment and progression of sexual activity.

This confirms what David Buss said in The Evolution of Desire nearly 20 years ago:

Women desire a lasting commitment, and the most desirable women are in the best position to get what they want.

The study also features a methodology that should please those HUS readers who put little faith in surveys and hypothetical “what if” questions:

Rather than using a direct measure of sexual and romantic goals, this paper uses reported outcomes to infer goals. The advantage to this approach is that individuals may not know what they most value in partners and relationships and/or may answer questions about preferences and priorities in accordance with gender-stereotyped sexual and romantic scripts.  Indeed, for men there is evidence that the sexual behavior they expect of themselves is not consistent with their actual experiences.

McClintock also points out that a preferred strategy isn’t very useful if you don’t have the power to bring your dreams to fruition:

Actual sexual and romantic outcomes are interesting because they reflect compromised rather than ideal choices: Individuals’ ideal preferences may be unattainable, forcing them to compromise and enter sub-optimal unions (or to remain single).

McClintock’s background summary cites many studies that show physical attractiveness to hold a relatively low place in the hierarchy of desired attributes, for both women and men. However, she questions the validity of these responses, much as HUS readers did when looking at the results of the Single in America survey

In contrast, in experimental studies designed to measure individual’s acted preferences (as opposed to stated preferences), physical attractiveness is highly valued by both genders. The consistency of findings over a wide range of studies makes the conclusions reasonably credible: Both women and men value physical attractiveness highly in actual choices but value it less when reporting their preferences.

McClintock hypothesized that the most attractive people should be able to more effectively realize their goals in mate selection. She explores and contrasts “social structural” effects, i.e. a sexual double standard constraining female sexuality, vs. evolutionary theory, i.e. genetically determined gender differences, on outcomes. 

Social Structural Perspective

  • Gendered sexual norms vary over time and place and respond to changing social conditions.
  • Women’s and men’s relative valuation of physical attractiveness and financial potential have become increasingly similar as women’s labor force participation increases, and this trend is stronger in more gender-egalitarian regions of the United States.
  • Age, education, feminist ideology, and political orientation are also important, modifying the effect of gender on the valuation of partners’ physical attractiveness and status.
  • The sexual double standard, still prevalent today, penalizes women and forgives (or rewards) men for accumulating sexual experience.
  • Women favor committed, long-term relationships.

Evolutionary Theory Perspective

  • Men may choose between short-term mating strategies, in which they mate with many women without committing resources to potential offspring, or a long-term strategy, in which they offer support in raising offspring in exchange for sexual access.
  • Women may also pursue a mixture of short- and long-term mating strategies. They use short-term mating to acquire “good genes,” generally identified by physical attractiveness and bravado. They use long-term mating strategies to acquire material support in raising offspring.
  • Women will be more selective than men in picking casual sex partners.
McClintock’s Hypotheses Social Structural Evolutionary Theory

More physically attractive women and men will be more likely to have had a romantic relationship than less attractive women and men.

Yes Yes

More physically attractive women and men will be more likely to have had sexual intercourse than less attractive women and men.

Yes Yes
More physically attractive men will have more sexual partners than less attractive men. Yes Yes
More physically attractive men are more likely to have sexual intercourse soon after meeting a new partner, compared to less attractive men. No Yes
More physically attractive women are less likely to have sexual intercourse soon after meeting a new partner, compared to less attractive women. No Yes
More physically attractive men will be more likely to describe their relationships as casual sexual relationships and less likely to describe their relationships as exclusive relationships, compared to less attractive men. Yes Yes
More physically attractive women will be more likely to describe their relationships as exclusive relationships and less likely to describe their relationships as casual sexual relationships, compared to less attractive women. No Yes

 

Methodology

n = > 14,000

Mean age = 21.5 years

To measure attractiveness, subjects were rated from 1 (very unattractive) to 5 (very attractive). In addition, BMI was accounted for, using the following metric:

<18.5:  Underweight

19-24:  Normal weight

25-30: Overweight

30+: Obese

Findings

Women

1. For women, the number of sexual partners decreases with increasing physical attractiveness.

2. Very physically attractive women are more likely to form exclusive relationships than to form purely sexual relationships.

3. Attractive women are less likely to have sexual intercourse within the first week of meeting a partner.

4. Underweight and normal-weight women are more likely to report romantic experience.

5. Overweight women report approximately 10% more partners than normal-weight women whereas obese women report approximately 10% fewer partners.

6. For women the effect of being underweight on within-relationship outcomes resembles the effect of being very physically attractive.

(This suggests that the factors influencing romantic and sexual desirability are at least in part socially structured because underweight women are less fertile so the evolutionary perspective predicts that they would be less able to obtain desired outcomes.)

These results are consistent with the social structural model that posits that women’s romantic and sexual goals are shaped by the double standard of sexuality.

Men

1. For men, the number of sexual partners increases with increasing physical attractiveness.

This suggests that men seek a greater number of sexual partners than women: Physically attractive men do better in the resulting competition for sexual access.

2. For men, being very physically attractive increases the chance of reporting purely sexual relationships (versus exclusive relationships).

3. Being physically attractive also increases the chance of having sexual intercourse in the first week of acquaintance.

4. Normal-weight men report the most partners.

5. Underweight men are predicted to report 17% fewer partners, and obese men are predicted to report 27% fewer partners.

These results are consistent with an evolutionary model in that partnerships characterized as “only having sex” and partnerships in which sexual intercourse occurs after a brief period of acquaintance are indicative of a female short-term mating strategy.

General

1. Very physically attractive individuals are more advantaged than unattractive individuals are disadvantaged.

In many instances, only very physically attractive individuals differed significantly from average/attractive individuals (the reference group) whereas unattractive individuals did not differ.

2. Women and men who are more educated and/or who have higher-status parents are rated more attractive and tend to have lower BMI.

Conclusion

It is clear that sexual and romantic outcomes are at least partially socially structured.

First, the sexual double standard unequivocally indicates that women will favor committed sexual relationships whereas some formulations of the evolutionary perspective suggest that women may pursue both long- and short-term mating strategies.

Second, the sexual double standard predicts that women will prefer delaying sexual intercourse whereas the evolutionary model does not make a clear prediction regarding gender differences (or similarity) in the preferred timing of sexual intercourse.

Third, the evolutionary model clearly indicates that more physically attractive men will have a greater propensity to form casual sexual relationships whereas the social structural model provides less guidance in predicting men’s behavior (the sexual double standard is directed at women).

McClintock notes that the two theories may overlap:

Perhaps the sexual double standard has persisted in part because the difference in sexual behavior that it enforces is evolutionarily determined and would exist regardless. An alternative explanation is that evolutionary theories of human mating behavior have been developed post hoc to explain observed behavior: Insofar as observed behavior is consistent with the sexual double standard, evolutionary theories will tend to make similar predictions.

Stay tuned, McClintock has a new study coming out that looks at the exchange of female beauty for male status, i.e. hypergamy. I’ll keep you posted. 

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Abbot

    Is attractiveness then the new slut tell?

  • Abbot

    Does the multipenis factor (MPF) negatively correlate with perceived beauty factor (PBF)?

  • Abbot

    Does beauty (on many levels) decline as you go to the right on this charming info graphic?

    http://www.girlschase.com/images/how-many-partners-0.jpg

    .

  • Ted D

    Interesting article, but I’m not exactly sure what to DO with the info…

    So really attractive women tend to have lower N. That’s great for very attractive guys that can land a SR9 or 10. What about the vast majority of us down here in SR 4 to 8 range? The guys here aren’t getting as much play, and the girls are getting MORE play from the guys higher in SR that can’t get the SR9-10 women to sex them up.

    Is there really any wonder why many men have “slut angst”?

  • taterearl

    It makes sense that the more attractive women are more fun to play with and game. They haven’t had multiple dicks beat out the fun and innocence from them.

  • Abbot

    “Is there really any wonder why many men have “slut angst”?

    How to Dupe the Duper –

    “When she sees you as an easygoing, nonjudgmental guy, she’ll be far more likely to give you the scoop on whom she really is, and you can make a much better informed judgment about what you want with her in your life going forward.”

    http://www.girlschase.com/content/womens-forgotten-past

    .

  • Abbot

    “They haven’t had multiple dicks beat out the fun and innocence from them.”

    aka the multi penis effect

  • Ion

    The argument that restricted girls can’t hook up because they’re not as attractive as the unrestricted girls no longer makes sense. I love it.

    If even average people can hook up, restricted girls are not because of personal choice/personality/morals. Pretty much every girl has the option to be promiscuous or even have a trail of “sorta boyfriend” 2 week – 3 month STRs.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    That’s an interesting study, Susan! I suppose that it doesn’t bode particularly well for high-SMV “power couples”, as the high SMV women appear to be taking lower SMV men into committed relationships while the high SMV men are having casual sex with lower SMV women. There are ways around this outcome, of course—people could be under or over reporting sexual behavior patterns, high SMV men could be courting high SMV women and supplementing with STRs on the side, and so on.

    I learned recently of the existence of various websites, organized by college, in which men can share sexy pics that female students have sent them. So you could look under, say, TriDelt/Mary//32Dcups///Auburn and there could be a photo gallery of pics, many of them nude, that an ex-BF has chosen to share anonymously.

    What is perhaps more surprising is the pro-sex pos sites that are soliciting boob shots of women on various campuses and then displaying them publicly as part of a campaign for young women to take charge of their own sexualities.

    I don’t think this is some widespread trend on campuses, but in the past few weeks, I have had two female students ask me if I’d like to see their photo submission candidate pictures before they send them in (both students cross-attend a very large public university nearby and that uni apparently has one of these boobs sites up and running. The sites—which supposedly are run by women—are getting more and more submissions, so having one’s breasts accepted for publication is becoming a competitive, status marker-type
    thing).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BB

      I suppose that it doesn’t bode particularly well for high-SMV “power couples”, as the high SMV women appear to be taking lower SMV men into committed relationships while the high SMV men are having casual sex with lower SMV women.

      I think that is definitely the dynamic in college, generally speaking. I’ve said many times here that female 9-10s are a bargain right now. Hit them up for a relationship just before closing time and you may get lucky. In all seriousness, I think some very high SMV women are on the sidelines, and some use LTR criteria to select men who may be less physically attractive than they are, but appealing in other ways.

      high SMV men could be courting high SMV women and supplementing with STRs on the side, and so on.

      Yes, this is possible, but hard to pull off for a LTR. I’ve definitely seen it happen. A girl in my focus group was duped for a full year and a half, and commenter Anne recently reported something similar. (Both these cases involved a lot of long-distance cheating.)

      Whether this dynamic changes by the mid to late 20s I’m not sure – I know of some cases where the high SMV guy has tired of the scene and is willing to commit to a woman if he can find her. There’s also the alpha outside/beta inside phenomenon – the good looking guys who have always been more LTR-oriented even when they could pull ONSs. I’ve known a few of those. And of course the high T/high E guys, another variation that may choose the LTR at some point.

      I recall hearing about those boob sites when my daughter was in school. She and her sorority sisters were scandalized by it – it was strictly a slut activity. Perhaps its appeal has widened. Raunch culture at its finest.

  • Lokland

    Conclusions for,

    Women: Yeah, we’re pretty. or I’m ugly so I should slut it up.

    Men: I’m hot. Lucky me. or I’m ugly and therefore should date reformed and/or current sluts.

    Not supporting the HUS caters to all SMVs meme.

    Not to say I disagree just that this is bad news for most people.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Not supporting the HUS caters to all SMVs meme.

      Not to say I disagree just that this is bad news for most people.

      I knew people would feel this way. The restricted women will feel vindicated and the guys will feel discouraged. I confess it’s hard for me sometimes to publish certain findings. I want to share good news to HUS readers, not bum everyone out. However, I think there is some good news.

      First, the study reported that low BMI gave women as much of a bump in terms of options as being very physically attractive facially.

      Second, the most attractive women lack suitors for the reasons Bastiat Blogger mentioned. In demanding commitment, they’ve priced themselves out of the market among their own SMV counterparts.

      Third, I don’t think there’s much surprise here for guys – we all know that good looking men have options, often with women a point or two lower, but hey, beauty is only a lightswitch away.

      Fourth, guys clearly do better if they are neither underweight nor obese. Getting in shape is a must.

      The really big losers, I’m afraid are the very low SMV people, especially the males. Same as it ever was.

  • Ted D

    “Not to say I disagree just that this is bad news for most people.”

    Understatement of the thread already? Its bad news for people at or above average in SMV, and downright earth shattering for anyone average or below.

    Don’t the women in the SMV5-8 range even realize that when they hook up with a player/cad/sr9-10 they are decreasing the chances they’ll live ‘happily ever after’ with a comparative SR man later? Don’t they even think for one moment that the SR6 they will someday marry might not be too thrilled about the SR9 Cad she banged on holiday in 2005?

    I mean it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the big picture here and see where the pitfalls are. Of course, it also requires that the person doing the looking can step away from what he/she wants for herself/himself in that moment and project a path forward. I guess I”m expecting WAY too much from my fellow humans.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.

    How to explain that?

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    I think it could be reasonably good news for unrestricted women of modest SMV, since they would theoretically be able to get taken to Poundtown by hot guys, a least for STRs. Could it also be good news for modest SMV men with trad courtship skills and inclinations? Maybe they could obtain desired LTRs with the prettiest girls, since high-SMV men are not willing to give these girls what they demand.

    (I’m not saying that this is what actually tends to happen in practice, just bringing it forward as a strawman scenario for discussion)

  • taterearl

    Men: I’m hot. Lucky me. or I’m ugly and therefore should date reformed and/or current sluts.

    It’s a little different for men…as looks isn’t the numero uno thing women go for.

    Men: I have game. Lucky me…or I don’t have game and have to settle for reformed and/or current sluts.

  • Jason773

    It’s a little different for men…as looks isn’t the numero uno thing women go for.

    Men: I have game. Lucky me…or I don’t have game and have to settle for reformed and/or current sluts.

    True, but IME, the r^2 between looks and game is pretty strong due to social proof and experience in the development years.

    It’s always weird when I meet good looking guys who have terrible game, but it does happen every so often. The good thing is that these guys are the easiest to “alpha up” if they legitimately care to learn because their looks allow them the leeway.

  • Unending Improvement

    Roissy posted a similar theory months ago, sans data for the most part.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Ted D, among the smart girls I know, the 5-8s didn’t slut it up with the male cads/alphas 9-10s. Maybe the data should be controlled for other factors before concluding it’s the effect of physical attractiveness alone.

    Classic r vs. K selection scenario here. The smart (as in, actually got some good sense) girls are not going to be short-term oriented at all. So no matter their looks they didn’t go for the short-term strategy. Hence most of them are married or engaged before 30.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The smart (as in, actually got some good sense) girls are not going to be short-term oriented at all. So no matter their looks they didn’t go for the short-term strategy.

      Hope makes a good point. This study looks at physical attractiveness, and the results are significant. However, don’t forget all the other things that correlate with promiscuity:

      low SES
      parental divorce
      childhood trauma or lack of attachment
      personality traits: Low conscientiousness, low agreeableness, high risk-seeking, high novelty-seeking
      the DRD4 dopamine receptor mutation
      higher prenatal exposure to androgens
      sociosexual orientation

      I’m sure there are beautiful women who are head cases and act slutty. There are also many less attractive women who are not the least bit promiscuous.

      For me, the most interesting finding is not that pretty women have more options, which makes sense, but that when women have options, they pursue long-term strategies for mating. This study calls into question the Sexual Strategies/”good genes” theory. That’s major.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    What is perhaps more surprising is the pro-sex pos sites that are soliciting boob shots of women on various campuses and then displaying them publicly as part of a campaign for young women to take charge of their own sexualities.

    My faith in humanity has decreased by a 10% factor.
    In other news
    According to this study I’m superhot! :D Hollywood here I come :p

    Seriously I happen to agree to an extent. The creme of la creme of my model friends were not giving it away and many of them were still virgins. The ones almost at the top were the ones slutting it up. So I guess there are other factors at play. Like the ones almost at the top still felt they needed to gamble in the presence of someone hotter to get some opportunity with the top guys because they knew competing with looks only was a lost battle?

  • Ion

    “When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.”

    Maybe it has more to do with popular girls thinking they’re too “fabulous” to marry down from “the type of happiness and type of man they deserve? Or it could be the fact that plain-to-slightly-pretty girls are associated with chastity/humility/ideal wife, and can attract more LTR/marriage minded guys?

    In any event, the most attractive women don’t have the highest MMV. Seems to be women who fall into the 4-7 category who do.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Ion, yeah that is my thinking as well. It seems that the really “hot” girls are all chasing after the super “hot” guys, while the more “average” girls tend to be with the more “average” guys. I also think most LTR/marriage-minded guys have more requirements than just looks…

    Incidentally, there is a girl who is more “average” in looks who got engaged to a guy who is probably objectively “hotter” than her. But she has such a fantastic, sweet and loving personality, and they are well-matched on their interests (she is interested in extremely outdoorsy stuff which most girls are not).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope

      It seems that the really “hot” girls are all chasing after the super “hot” guys, while the more “average” girls tend to be with the more “average” guys.

      This was clearly indicated in the study of teen social dominance. There were dominant groups of each sex, and they socialized with one another. They were “popular.” I don’t know whether that correlates to promiscuity – perhaps the hottest girls make their dominant boyfriends wait longer. But it seemed pretty clear that social grops and cliques were highly stratified.

  • Cooper

    “In any event, the most attractive women don’t have the highest MMV. Seems to be women who fall into the 4-7 category who do.”

    Bingo.

    “it could be the fact that plain-to-slightly-pretty girls are associated with chastity/humility/ideal wife”

    That’s the explanation for less attractive being more likely to be married.
    The hottest ones come off as a too high risk for most guys.

  • http://www.therulesrevisited.com Andrew

    Nice post, very interesting. As you say, it supports well what most of us suspected.

    I need to save the link to this post as a favorite, perhaps use it for reference in upcoming posts on The Rules Revisited.

  • Joe

    Hope’s experiences notwithstanding, it looks like Ted is right. I too am not sure what a 20-something (of either sex) would do with this information, mostly because it seems to boil down to “Winners win and losers lose.” “Game” has very little to do with the outcomes, if this is to be taken at face value.

    Let me offer something that might help. The sociological aspects being considered change over time. As I read, I couldn’t help but think that, someone like Kristen Stewart, who is no doubt considered attractive by most now, would not be in the ’20s and ’30s (Mae West was much closer to the female ideal then), or even in the ’50s (think Marilyn Monroe).

    I’m not sure how quickly this change happens, but, um, Kate Upton is once again the SI Swinsuit Edition cover girl.

  • JQ

    @Susan:

    The only major problem I have with this study is that, like so many others that employ logistic regression, the odds for the baseline group isn’t reported so it’s impossible to make good comparisons in terms of probability (which matter) instead of odds ratios (which don’t). This leads to two observations:

    1) Because odds ratios are reported, this distorts the interpretation. Even for odds ratios of up to 1.5, this just isn’t that big of a change in probability unless the odds of the baseline case are very small (2:1 -> 3:1 implies 66% -> 75%, but 10:1->15:1 implies 91%->94%). Similar demonstrations are possible for values of the odds ratio like 0.8.
    2) For the relationship status part, the odds ratios interact with each other when coming up with probabilities. Therefore it is impossible to make an informed guess as to just how important a factor may be. It is safe to say that the baseline probability is smaller (because the total probability has to be split more ways) so the effect should be larger, but without the missing data we really don’t know how meaningful the shifts are. For instance, 0.8 of 0.25:1 odds (or a baseline probability of 25%) is a probability of 16%. Even at 0.1:1 (probability of 9%) 0.8 of those odds is a probability of 7.4%. The odds would need to be very small before a 0.8 odds ratio really starts to matter.

  • JP

    The golden rule?

    She who has the gold makes the rules?

  • Todd

    When I came across this study, I was reminded of something mentioned in a Sex & The City episode: good looking women aren’t good in bed because they don’t have to be. Knowing that a man will do anything to keep you around makes it easy for a very attractive woman to just sit there and not have to slut it up. On the flip side, women lower on the food chain have to have something to offer, lest they miss out. Though I do find it interesting that even slutting it up has diminishing returns based on weight. After all, while the overweight girls had 27% more partners than average, the obese girls had 17% fewer partners than average. Interesting. :)

    In terms of attractiveness, I’m with what Jason773 said. The hottest guys get that experience, get comfort with women, then success breeds success. This even fits nicely with the fact that many dudes from abusive or neglectful homes tend to rack up the body count. After all, if you have to rely on your own resources to take care of yourself, you’ll figure what you have to offer people in a hurry.

  • Sassy6519

    That’s the explanation for less attractive being more likely to be married.
    The hottest ones come off as a too high risk for most guys.

    True.

    The higher SMV women are also probably less likely to engage in casual sex because the men they date are much more eager to offer commitment to them.

    This resonates for me. It’s not uncommon for me to come on here and complain about the men I date, who appear “Alpha” in most contexts, that offer commitment to me on a silver platter right away. I’ve never really believed that most men are commitmaphobic. I do believe, however, that men have much higher standards when it comes to choosing a woman to commit to.

    Higher SMV women probably have an easier time eliciting the DTR conversation from a man than lower SMV women. The men like what they see, and decide to cash in their chips quickly.

  • Sassy6519

    When I came across this study, I was reminded of something mentioned in a Sex & The City episode: good looking women aren’t good in bed because they don’t have to be. Knowing that a man will do anything to keep you around makes it easy for a very attractive woman to just sit there and not have to slut it up. On the flip side, women lower on the food chain have to have something to offer, lest they miss out.

    Makes sense to me.

    I by no means, however, think that high SMV women should slack off or be “dead fish” in the bedroom. If you are going to have a natural advantage already, you might as well put in the effort to bring your A game in other ways to really sweeten the pot.

  • INTJ

    She understands good study design! I’m going to look up her other studies. Really curious to see what else she’s published.

  • Anne

    Todd: Actually the quote from SATC is regarding men. Carrie: “That’s the thing about good looking men – they’re never good in bed, because they never had to be”.
    I do think this research is interesting, but I’m not sure just HOW important attractiveness is. My personal experience is very different (in fact, all the women I know with 20+ partners are very good-looking). I find other factors – feminist attitude, daddy issues and high testosterone in women – to be much more important in terms of how promiscuous a woman is.

  • INTJ

    @ Hope

    When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.

    How to explain that?

    In my observations, the most attractive girls are usually not the most popular girls.

  • INTJ

    @ Hope

    Ted D, among the smart girls I know, the 5-8s didn’t slut it up with the male cads/alphas 9-10s. Maybe the data should be controlled for other factors before concluding it’s the effect of physical attractiveness alone.

    Also, you have to be careful about perceived SMV. For example, from your posts, it would seem that you’re only average looking, whereas you’re actually an 8-9.

  • jack

    Susan-

    This is why average men are utterly screwed and should not marry. Because the women in their attractiveness cohort have dome more damage to their ability to pair-bond than the hotter girls have.

    The highest quality women get screwed too, because instead of marrying their alpha, like they used to be able to do, they get sidelined until the alphas get done plowing through the 5s and 6s, so to speak.

    The 5s and 6s (A certain Ms. Owen comes to mind) get ruined by their 5 minutes of alpha (times 100), leaving them unable to want the men they once could have had.

    The average women “win” (if you can call it that) in the short-term SMP, and the alphas win big, getting to play with their soft harem until they ge bored with that and get going with career and family.

    Beta males have only one thing to console themselves with: The 5s and 6s (might as well call them perps) were the ones who did all the damage due to their decisions (they call them mistakes).

    Just imagine as the current crop ages, can you even begin to imagine how many single, lonely, miserable people there will be?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @jack

      Just imagine as the current crop ages, can you even begin to imagine how many single, lonely, miserable people there will be?

      I hear you. I hope they don’t all find HUS, because I have no idea what to tell them.

      We are entering a period where the odds are strong that many women and men will be unhappily single, and will not be able to get together – they won’t be compatible.

  • taterearl

    “Higher SMV women probably have an easier time eliciting the DTR conversation from a man than lower SMV women. The men like what they see, and decide to cash in their chips quickly.”

    Which is the flip side of women who are lower SMV giving it away to get commitment…while women of higher SMV don’t have to give it away when the guy gives commitment to her on a silver platter.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    INTJ, hah thanks, but I don’t think I’m 8-9. If that were the case I’d have dated the Bastiats and Zachs, not Coopers and OTCs. But I have always been more drawn to the nerdy, awkward and outcast types than the jockish, smooth and mainstream types.

    To be fair, the married ladies I’m talking about are all within healthy BMI and definitely not ugly by any means. They just aren’t “hot” by current mainstream standards. They were the girls in jeans and t-shirts, who didn’t participate in bars and clubs, etc.

    Maybe the goalposts have moved, and any girl who is not overweight is considered hot?

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The restricted women will feel vindicated and the guys will feel discouraged.”

    Discouraged no. This is a reason for any man dating a woman below a 9 to sleep with one eye open. It supports the feral female hypothesis.

    If looking both ways before crossing the road is discouraging that person is pathetic.

    Note: Should note that in relation to this result, the woman most likely to cuckold their mate are the average woman as well (ie. SMV 4-7).
    Also note, higher N correlates to higher rates of infidelity (which supports above).

    “Second, the most attractive women lack suitors for the reasons Bastiat Blogger mentioned. ”

    Men aren’t women. Seeing our competitors in pain does not provide pleasure. Winning is enough. Its the rare male who gloats and yes, they are typically the guy you want to walk 10 feet around in a crowd.

    Ie. This isn’t good news. Just an observation.

    So in actuality, there is only good news for women. Bad news for men.

    ————

    Two things I’d like to hear your opinion on.

    1. Whether or not this supports the feral female hypothesis?
    2. You have a thing for assortative mating in which the low N people get together. That seems unlikely given these findings, no?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      1. Whether or not this supports the feral female hypothesis?

      No, because the study does not address the likelihood or degree of female promiscuity. It simply finds that less attractive women are more likely to be promiscuous. This is very much in keeping with the oft cited observation that good looking men typically dip down a couple of points for a ONS.

      One clue is that stat that overweight women report 10% more partners than normal weight women. That’s not a large discrepancy – it could be the difference between 2 and 2.2 partners (on average). We also can’t assume the least attractive women are having sex with the most attractive men, obviously. It’s very much in keeping with what I’ve observed many times – the losers in this SMP are the highest SMV women and the lowest SMV men.

      2. You have a thing for assortative mating in which the low N people get together. That seems unlikely given these findings, no?

      Well, the odds of getting married are still very high – between 80% and 90% for a college educated male. So assortative mating is still very much the norm. Not only that, there are more hypogamous than hypergamous marriages among college graduates, so the claim that women have a strong desire to marry up is very much in question, at least among the educated.

  • Lokland

    “This study calls into question the Sexual Strategies/”good genes” theory. That’s major.”

    I mentioned this above.

    Cuckolding increases when women enter LTRs as opposed to STRs. (Harder to pull off the STR cuckold obviously.)

    It doesn’t say ye or ne to the good genes-provider hypothesis. Just shows that when resources are available they will be utilized.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      Cuckolding increases when women enter LTRs as opposed to STRs.

      True, but if you remove short-term mating strategies from the female playbook, it should go way down. If women prefer committed relationships for reproducing, the incentive to mate outside the LTR is sharply reduced.

  • Ion

    “I find other factors – feminist attitude, daddy issues and high testosterone in women – to be much more important in terms of how promiscuous a woman is.”

    I agree 100% about feminist entitlement being a slut tell. But testosterone? I’ve never seen IRL, but will keep an eye out re acquaintances who are unrestricted, in case I just haven’t noticed.

    There are just as many results saying that curvier women are more promiscuous. How can both curvy women and women with high testosterone be promiscuous for example?

    Plus there are bubbly, socially successful, charming and pretty extroverted girls who happen to be unrestricted/feminine, and plenty of quite, shy, and kind bookworm girls who are feminine introverts and restricted.

    For example, as a fairly “male brained” type, I am still restricted. If I have lots of testosterone, I should’ve had no problem getting laid way more than I actually do.

    It is possible too that I know nothing about how hormones work.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    As an eternal skeptic of surveys and studies… I have to say this one makes a lot of sense to me.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jimmy

      As an eternal skeptic of surveys and studies… I have to say this one makes a lot of sense to me.

      I thought you might like this one. :)

  • J

    It makes sense that the more attractive women are more fun to play with and game. They haven’t had multiple dicks beat out the fun and innocence from them.

    Really attractive women are always being gamed and IMO more likely to dislike it, be hip to it.

  • ForeverBeta

    @Susan

    Choosing an slightly underweight female might be an overall male strategy to have someone with a longer “sexually attractive expiration date” if they are marriage minded. As my grandfather, jokingly, told me to always pick the thin ones, because they will only gain weight over time (like most everyone). Also look at the mother, because that’s how the girl will look like (and behave like) in 20-30 years.

  • http://happycrow.wordpress.com Russ in Texas

    @Susan,

    Not only stratified, but I think also pretty seriously self-segregating as well. I have always been attracted to a nerdy woman (the sort of girl who was invariably out of the h.s. cliques), and frequently not even vaguely attracted to the “hot” ones. I moved a lot and my own relation to those cliques was pretty, .. well, combative. My experience may not track.

    Not sure how cuckolding relates here, b/c those that I’m aware of are not usually “casual sex” so much as “side relationship.” I off-base on that?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Russ

      Not sure how cuckolding relates here, b/c those that I’m aware of are not usually “casual sex” so much as “side relationship.” I off-base on that?

      I don’t know, to be honest. The cuckolding rates are thought to be quite low. I think the best estimate is 2-4%. Given that around 20% of married women have cheated, I’m surprised it isn’t higher.

      My sense is that it is the extramarital affair, motivated not by a desire to get a good genes baby while maintaining the marriage, but to move on from the marriage in most cases. As one sociologist said, the woman wants to replace her zero with a hero.

  • Johnycomelately

    Not mentioned is the potential size of the dating pool for high SMV men and women related to age, given age distribution tables.

    Given that women tend to date at or above their age cohort within a narrow band while men date within a larger band below their age cohort.

    This may force high SMV women to settle earlier at their peak value given the shrinking pool of high value mates as they age. While high SMV men will delay settling as the high value pool increases as they age to a certain point.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This may force high SMV women to settle earlier at their peak value given the shrinking pool of high value mates as they age. While high SMV men will delay settling as the high value pool increases as they age to a certain point.

      Yes, this is another reason why women do well to date up 5-10 years. Their high SMV potential mates will not be on the same timetable. They need to find their partner just as he’s ready to exit the STR market.

  • Iggles

    @ Ion:

    If even average people can hook up, restricted girls are not because of personal choice/personality/morals. Pretty much every girl has the option to be promiscuous or even have a trail of “sorta boyfriend” 2 week – 3 month STRs.

    + 1000

    Back in college I knew two girls who were a SMV 2. They were both overweight/obese and were very promiscuous! The guys they hooked up simply didn’t care. Some were of similar SMV but any guy who wanted to hit would have a shot. To my knowledge no man of SMV 5+ would actually consider making these girls their girlfriend!

    I’ve realized for a long time looks have little to do with promiscuity. A girl in need of male validation is a more reliable slut tell than outward attractiveness. Not to say there aren’t women with healthy self esteem who enjoy sexual encounters with a variety of partners — those women are definitely in the minority whereas the majority of girls that engage that behavior are not doing it for independent and earnest enjoyment.

    I’ve also longed realized high drive =/= promiscuous. There are plenty of high drive women and men who express their sexuality within the confines of a loving relationship. Likewise, there are low and average drive women who use sex with various men to feel “special”, “loved”, or “wanted”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I’ve also longed realized high drive =/= promiscuous. There are plenty of high drive women and men who express their sexuality within the confines of a loving relationship. Likewise, there are low and average drive women who use sex with various men to feel “special”, “loved”, or “wanted”.

      Good point. People can be unrestricted in their sociosexuality and channel that into a LTR. I’m probably to the unrestricted side of center, yet have had no difficulty maintaining monogamy for 30 years, because that relationship meets my needs.

      And as you say, the opposite is also true.

  • INTJ

    @ Jimmy Hendricks

    As an eternal skeptic of surveys and studies… I have to say this one makes a lot of sense to me.

    That’s cause it’s a well designed study (and thus got a result that makes a lot of sense). I was amazed by the thoroughness with which the author wrote this paper (and especially the discussion of limitations at the end, which didn’t seem to just pay lip service to study limitations).

  • OffTheCuff

    Hope: “If that were the case I’d have dated the Bastiats and Zachs, not Coopers and OTCs.”

    Hey, hey, now… no need to insult Cooper like that by lumping him in with me!

  • INTJ

    @ Hope

    INTJ, hah thanks, but I don’t think I’m 8-9. If that were the case I’d have dated the Bastiats and Zachs, not Coopers and OTCs. But I have always been more drawn to the nerdy, awkward and outcast types than the jockish, smooth and mainstream types.

    Well then you’re an exception to the assortative mating rule. :P

    To be fair, the married ladies I’m talking about are all within healthy BMI and definitely not ugly by any means. They just aren’t “hot” by current mainstream standards. They were the girls in jeans and t-shirts, who didn’t participate in bars and clubs, etc.

    This is why I dislike the term “hot”. It has a certain connotation of popularity/easiness that is independent of actual attractiveness. Wearing a low cut top and miniskirt, and having an extreme tan doesn’t actually mean the person is attractive.

    Also, I know some of the guys here have a more feminine preference, but personally I’ve noticed that I tend to get disproportionately attracted to girls in jeans and t-shirts.

  • INTJ

    @ ForeverBeta

    Choosing an slightly underweight female might be an overall male strategy to have someone with a longer “sexually attractive expiration date” if they are marriage minded. As my grandfather, jokingly, told me to always pick the thin ones, because they will only gain weight over time (like most everyone). Also look at the mother, because that’s how the girl will look like (and behave like) in 20-30 years.

    That’s also what I figured. While it may not matter for STRs, it’s preferable to choose someone below the optimal fat level so that she’ll be good over the long term.

  • Richard Aubrey

    A guy can be hot, 9 or 10, maybe 8, and not have the confidence that ought to go with it.
    These guys, along with others who know their (lower) place in the SMV may be intimidated by a 10. Not even try. Lust from a distance. Who does this leave? Well, as I mentioned in another thread, it might leave apparent or real losers, but conventionally we’d presume it leaves the 9s and 10s who know who they are and what they bring to the table.
    A pretty elite group. Now, what does one of those do to stand out from his peers? Right. Offer LTR. Which would necessarily cut down the n for the 10 woman, unless she wants to up her number for some reason or other. But she could have all the bed time she wants with one guy. Or, I suppose, use the promise of future delight to stay both out of bed and in the relationship leading to marriage.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Richard

      A guy can be hot, 9 or 10, maybe 8, and not have the confidence that ought to go with it.
      These guys, along with others who know their (lower) place in the SMV may be intimidated by a 10.

      This is not at all uncommon. There are an awful lot of good-looking guys who are restricted by nature, prefer LTRs etc., so they don’t present with any kind of bravado or cocky behavior. It’s not their personality. These guys will do OK for STRs if they want them, and most will go along with some casual sex. But the ones I have known are on the lookout for a pretty girl who wants to be their gf. A lot of them wind up with slightly less attractive gf’s for the reason you state.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Iggles,

    I’ve realized for a long time looks have little to do with promiscuity. A girl in need of male validation is a more reliable slut tell than outward attractiveness.

    A friend of mine who as the highest count in my social group said exactly that. He would go to parties and look for girls with low self esteem because they were easy. Goth attire, strange hair, lots of tatoos, Daddy issues, divorced parents, etc. were things he looked for.

    The funny thing is this guy is totally not an alpha. In fact, he’s the omega of the office and is dominated by his wife. He hasn’t much game, is fairly short, weak chin, a bit pudgy. But he knew how to pick an easy lay.

  • OffTheCuff

    I doubt they are 2′s. 2 would have some physical deformity, an extremely unappealing face, quite old, or all three. I see obese (200-300) women get hit on regularly by VERY in-shape guys, just because they have decent, if not attractive, youthful faces and, say, under 35. They get hit on enough to get annoyed with it and still be picky.

  • Jesse

    If we’re talking about folks under twenty-five, I do find myself wondering whether the man quickly serving up ‘commitment’ on a plate to an attractive woman is really offering a committed relationship or whether his penis is just trying to make a proposal that will result in sex.

    I mean, if you’re courting a hot chick then looks are probably important to you. If they weren’t so important you could probably court a pleasant seven or eight, to use the parlance around here.

    Coupled with the general sentiment that it requires a kamikaze fortitude to approach a really hot woman, it just seems fishy. I’d be interested to hear my point of view challenged, though.

    To INTJ:

    I don’t have the slightest problem with jeans and t-shirts. I’d be much more concerned with how a woman acts than what she wears.

  • Jesse

    I see obese (200-300) women get hit on regularly by VERY in-shape guys, just because they have decent, if not attractive, youthful faces and, say, under 35.

    Certain demographics do show a peculiar tendency to pair, say, a man 5’10″ and 150 lbs with a woman 5’5″ and 230 lbs.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Hope,

    When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.

    How to explain that?

    Our fabulous blog mistress has already posted on that. Short answer – those plainer girls work for their ring and lock down a mate ASAP.

    But this is not true. In fact, game theory predicts, and empirical studies of auctions bear out, that auctions will often be won by “weak” bidders, who know that they can be outbid and so bid more aggressively, while the “strong” bidders will hold out for a really great deal.

    Where have all the most appealing men gone? Married young, most of them—and sometimes to women whose most salient characteristic was not their beauty, or passion, or intellect, but their decisiveness.

  • mr. wavevector

    Indeed, for men there is evidence that the sexual behavior they expect of themselves is not consistent with their actual experiences.

    Like all those guys convinced “game” is going to land them a supermodel?

  • SayWhaat

    While it may not matter for STRs, it’s preferable to choose someone below the optimal fat level so that she’ll be good over the long term.

    I usually ignore the objectifying language tossed around here, but the way this was phrased made me pause.

  • mr. wavevector

    As one sociologist said, the woman wants to replace her zero with a hero.

    That’s how the sexes cheat. A woman wants a different man. A man wants an additional woman.

  • Iggles

    @ mr. wavevector:

    A friend of mine who as the highest count in my social group said exactly that. He would go to parties and look for girls with low self esteem because they were easy. Goth attire, strange hair, lots of tatoos, Daddy issues, divorced parents, etc. were things he looked for.

    Yikes.. that sounds about right in terms of targeting “the weakness in the pack”. In reality, both people are using one another. The women would be wiser to get therapy and proactively resolve their issues but you get what you give…

    @ OTC:

    I doubt they are 2′s. 2 would have some physical deformity, an extremely unappealing face, quite old, or all three.

    Won’t post any pictures (that would be unethical) but these girls did not have an attractive face nor body (as they were both obese). In my estimation they are solid 2s.

    Yes, 2s can pull a variety of men their SMV and higher for ONS and such. If they’re women that is. An SMV 2 male would not have similar “success”.

    @ SW:

    Good point. People can be unrestricted in their sociosexuality and channel that into a LTR.

    Yep. It depends on the individual. Unrestricted orbit high drive does not mean one will stray in a LTR.

    And as you say, the opposite is also true.

    Yeah. I dont want to sound preachy, but honestly,I do have sympathy for women caught in the cycle of seeking male validation. Traveling down that path does not heal emotional scars. It leads to a lot of emotional pain and emptiness. The men they often wind up with are not good for them, as like attracts like (broken people get into dysfunctional relationships with other broken people).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Iggles

      Yeah. I dont want to sound preachy, but honestly,I do have sympathy for women caught in the cycle of seeking male validation. Traveling down that path does not heal emotional scars. It leads to a lot of emotional pain and emptiness. The men they often wind up with are not good for them, as like attracts like (broken people get into dysfunctional relationships with other broken people).

      There is a young woman from one of my focus groups that meets this description. I love her dearly. I have known her since she was 13, and watched her endure an incredibly acrimonious divorce. Her parents are still in court 6 years after they separated. She has practically lived with us over summers and college breaks.

      Her relationships are terribly dysfunctional – she chooses bad men, and when she gets it wrong and finds a good guy, she sabotages it. I have intervened so many times, encouraged her to get some help, but I can’t get through. I’m so worried about her. Her number is “I don’t even know.” 75? I don’t see her ever having a healthy relationship. It’s heartbreaking.

  • http://happycrow.wordpress.com Russ in Texas

    @Susan#64: that jives with my experience – more or less every single adulterous woman I’ve known (long story).

  • Iggles

    Ugh. Autocorrect… Meant to say:
    Unrestricted or high drive

  • Yeah_No

    Methodology

    n = > 14,000

    Mean age = 21.5 years

    How can the researchers validly compare partner counts of people of different ages? Older people usually have more partners because they’ve had more opportunities to do so.

    Same goes for attractiveness, ‘cept younger people are more attractive and tend to have fewer partners.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Yeah No

      The data is from the National Adolescent Health Survey, and the researchers selected out the data for the older cohort. So the age range is actually quite narrow.

  • Lokland

    “We are entering a period where the odds are strong that many women and men will be unhappily single, and will not be able to get together – they won’t be compatible.”

    We’ll thats cheery.

  • Lokland

    Susan, you still haven’t yet specified what the good news is for the average to below average guy here.

    Nor even a potential course of action.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Susan, you still haven’t yet specified what the good news is for the average to below average guy here.

      Nor even a potential course of action.

      Hmmm, I thought I offered some good insights. Did you think I have all the answers? I’m just an amateur. I’ll sleep on this and try to come back with something better tomorrow.

  • jlw

    Do The Least Attractive Women Have the Least Sex?

  • Abbot

    “We are entering a period where the odds are strong that many women and men will be unhappily single, and will not be able to get together – they won’t be compatible.”

    MP’d Harem Has Beens vs The Dry Spellers

  • Lokland

    @Sue

    “Hmmm, I thought I offered some good insights”

    For woman and slightly above average men.
    There was nothing in there directed at normal men.

  • Lokland

    Ohh, I see you responded to me and I missed it. Give me a minute here.

  • Anne

    Susan: the young woman you’re describing sounds exactly like my sister!
    I know two factors contributing to her problems: insecurities and daddy issues (our father died when we were little). She seeks constant sexual validation, from new men, all the time. She’s cheated and been cheated on, had all sorts of sexual relationships, all of them with men way below her league. Normally I would say “each to their own”, but I am a bit worried. Being slutty makes it difficult to get female friendships and I am also worried that she is not so fussy with protection (she said she wouldn’t want an HIV test as she doesn’t want to know the result) :( It’s impossible to talk to her about, she is both “feminist” in her statements but at the same time sensitive about her number (I imagine the girl you’re talking about is the same).

    Someone mentioned “touch therapy” once, it might have been on the HUS forum. Some women have an extreme need for physical contact and there is a form of therapy that can decrease it. Other than that, regular therapy is a good idea. I think it’s difficult to come to the point where you realize you need it – my sister’s been in those situations (dating a guy who said she wasn’t “girlfriend material”, being dumped by the guy she fell for), but you can always rationalize it.
    Would be interesting to hear if someone has any advice on how to help or if they’ve witnessed someone who’s changed. I love my sister and she is beautiful and funny and educated, she could get an amazing guy if she aimed for it. I also have some health concerns.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anne

      I’m so sorry to hear your sister is so troubled. The woman I know is extremely attractive as well – she’s a dark-haired beauty with enormous eyes. That’s part of the problem – she gets hit on by cads all the time. Though she’s not discriminating in general – she once told me that she doesn’t have the heart to turn down any guy for sex. !!!!!

      She used to turn to me often, but she’s now claiming she’s in a “great” relationship – with a guy who started having sex with her while living with another woman. He’s 29 going on 23. He seems to like her a lot – he walked 5 miles in the blizzard last weekend to see her – but he’s a loser, highly unreliable. It’s not going to end well.

      I’m no therapist and she needs the best at this point.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “True, but if you remove short-term mating strategies from the female playbook, it should go way down. If women prefer committed relationships for reproducing, the incentive to mate outside the LTR is sharply reduced.”

    This is literally a hobby horse I’ve ridden so far into the ground I might as well regurgitate all the crap into a book.

    Ugly women cheat more than pretty woman because they can’t get what they want/need.

    Your point is not logical it would have no effect on reproducing with good genes, only what constitutes those good genes. (We can assume the guys getting cuckolded are not the winners under either metric.)

    Last, cuckolding increases (not decreases) with an increase in LTRs. Mostly due to the fact that you can’t cuckold a guy in a society where P&D is the norm.

  • Lokland

    “My sense is that it is the extramarital affair, motivated not by a desire to get a good genes baby while maintaining the marriage, but to move on from the marriage in most cases. As one sociologist said, the woman wants to replace her zero with a hero.”

    The problem with this is the same that game faces. Its entirely results focused which results in massive confirmation bias.

    We don’t here about the woman who silently cheats on her husband without anything changing, rarer for sure but not unheard of.

    Its only the cases where Jerry Springer becomes involved (hyperbole) that get studied (mostly).

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Ted

    Interesting article, but I’m not exactly sure what to DO with the info…

    You’re not in the SMP, this information is of curiousity and trivia to you, not action. Unless you’re trying to teach your sons.

    And what you are trying to teach your sons shouldn’t have changed at all. Women have “rules.” They are not “laws.” These are rules that are relaxed for more attractive men. Certain women will be quite restricted, but the norm is that a typical women will have SOME past of casual sex, which means, by default, you must assume a woman is price discriminating against you, because she probably is.

    The strategy for your boys is:
    1. Maximize their attractiveness
    2. Remove the pedestalization
    3. Do not offer commitment easily
    4. Do not get emotionally attached easily
    5. Maintain low investment in any girl that you are not formally dating, which means sleeping with
    6. Build your social circle to meet new girls
    7. Work on your short-term attraction triggers to the exclusion of all else
    8. Approach, approach, approach

    It was exactly the same advice before this post, it is exactly the same advice after this post, it will continue to be the same advice until society gets it head out of its ass.

    Truly restricted girls and the blue pill dating script that accompanies them should be considered unicorns that will not be encountered except on the internet. All other girls should be expected to put out early and if she isn’t, she’s not that into you, move on. Unless you are already in a relationship, you should be meeting new girls every single day.

    Every.
    Single.
    Day.

    No girl is special until she has made the investment to prove herself special. Remember, half of them are having ONSs and FWBs. Not special, not worthy of worship, not worthy of dating or high-level investment, until proven otherwise.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “So assortative mating is still very much the norm. Not only that, there are more hypogamous than hypergamous marriages among college graduates, so the claim that women have a strong desire to marry up is very much in question, at least among the educated.”

    I’m having a stupid moment.
    Are you saying that hypogamy is becoming more common and therefore most men with low N will be end up with women with higher N? (Which was the original topic, not sure if the switch was to SES or an anologous example still applying to N.)

    Note: The SES debate isn’t of much interest to me. Nor is the whoze gotz more brains debate particularly useful to me.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Honest question.

    “I don’t see her ever having a healthy relationship. It’s heartbreaking.”

    Why?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      “I don’t see her ever having a healthy relationship. It’s heartbreaking.”

      Why?

      Not sure if you’re asking why no relationship or why heartbreaking.

      Re the first, she clearly feels unworthy of love, which is not surprising given her family history. Though custody battles raged in court, neither parent attended lovingly to the children. When they split up, her mother bought a condo and informed her there was no room for her to sleep there. She was still in college, which is why she spent most nights over breaks and summers at my house. Her father fell in love with someone else in 2004 and left her mother in 2007, so that’s complicated. They are on good terms, but the history is messy.

      In short, she does not believe that love lasts and does not know what a good marriage looks like.

      It’s heartbreaking because she wants to love someone so much. She wants a happy marriage, but she doesn’t think she’ll ever have that. In short, she’s smart and beautiful and kind and a hot mess. I don’t see how she climbs out of this pit.

  • OffTheCuff

    Lok: “For woman and slightly above average men. There was nothing in there directed at normal men.”

    The article? Or all of HUS? :)

  • Mike C

    I’m having a stupid moment.
    Are you saying that hypogamy is becoming more common and therefore most men with low N will be end up with women with higher N? (Which was the original topic, not sure if the switch was to SES or an anologous example still applying to N.)

    Note: The SES debate isn’t of much interest to me. Nor is the whoze gotz more brains debate particularly useful to me.

    My understanding is when Susan uses the term hypergamy/hypogamy she is talking exclusively about occupational status/income/social strata. So a college educated woman marrying a very physically attractive, socially dominant man with a high N who is a plumber would be an example of hypogamy even though perhaps his overall SMV is equal or even greater when you factor everything in and not just job/income/educational pedigree

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Re hypogamy, I referenced a particular recent post that looked at differing education levels between spouses. This has been studied because the traditional definition of hypergamy has been that women “marry up” in terms of traditional status markers, including education.

      This is very relevant today in light of the lopsided college sex ratio. However, the data shows that in fact, there are more women who marry men with less education than themselves, than the reverse:

      Marriages where female has more education (hypogamy): 27.4%
      Same education: 41.7%
      Less education (hypergamy): 30.9%
      Net hypergamy: 3.5%

      However, look what happens when we segment by education:

      Net hypergamy 12 years or less of education: 45.4%

      Net hypergamy more than 12 years: -18.6%

      My guess is that the hypogamous marriages generally reflect difference in degrees earned within the same SES group rather than big gaps in status. Unfortunately, the data is not broken out any further.

      Re the guy with high SMV, his MMV will be considerably lower if his education, income, status, etc. are lower than his wife’s. This is a pairing that neither men nor women prefer.

  • Cooper

    @ADBG

    You can call me North Korea – I’m huntin’ me a unicorn!!

    Lmao

  • taterearl

    “He would go to parties and look for girls with low self esteem because they were easy. Goth attire, strange hair, lots of tattoos, Daddy issues, divorced parents, etc. were things he looked for.”

    Yeah they are easy to pick off. I must have too high of self esteem though because anytime I get into a conversation with that type of gal I can’t stand them more than a few minutes.

    I guess I like the challenge of a girl whose head is on straight. They are a lot more fun to game.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “It’s heartbreaking because she wants to love someone so much. She wants a happy marriage, but she doesn’t think she’ll ever have that. In short, she’s smart and beautiful and kind and a hot mess. I don’t see how she climbs out of this pit.”

    Cynic moment.

    What if she does climb out of that pit?
    Does the new guy get a relationship get to sail off into the sun happy?
    Or does he take on an incredibly high risk project with much chance of pain for him.
    Or what happens to her children? Do they get the same treatment she did?

    Very cynical (and I lack all the info), but based upon your description. Less harm will probably come if she doesn’t pair off.

    Past a certain point containment is better than curing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      What if she does climb out of that pit?
      Does the new guy get a relationship get to sail off into the sun happy?
      Or does he take on an incredibly high risk project with much chance of pain for him.
      Or what happens to her children? Do they get the same treatment she did?

      Very cynical (and I lack all the info), but based upon your description. Less harm will probably come if she doesn’t pair off.

      These are valid questions, but I don’t think it will come to that, as she does not date stable LTR-oriented men. She radiates “damage” – one guy told me it’s like she has a big X on her forehead. She frequently drinks too much, makes out with randoms, etc. I think there’s little chance of a good guy getting fooled, and if he does he’s an idiot.

      I admit I don’t think she would make a good mother. I can’t even imagine it. This is why I feel heartbroken – I don’t see a good life ahead for her.

  • Lokland

    @Sue

    Yes, I understand hypergamy. I don’t understand how it applies to what you quoted from me which had to do with N count.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      Are you saying that hypogamy is becoming more common and therefore most men with low N will be end up with women with higher N?

      No I made no association between hypergamy and N. I’m not sure what you’re asking here. As I said earlier, this study says nothing about what percentage of less attractive women are promiscuous, only that less attractive women are more likely to go for Plan B, which is STR if that’s all they can get. However, past posts have already established that the women pursuing this strategy are in a 10-20% minority. Nothing new on this front.

      What’s different here is that this study indicates that women do not in general alternate between STR and LTR strategies, a key tenet among some evolutionary theorists. LTR is Plan A, STR is Plan B if LTR is a fail. No doubt the most hypergamous women are the most likely to go to Plan B. Since the hottest women are already on a par with the hottest guys, hypergamy is not applicable. It’s the less attractive women who want the more attractive men who go the STR route. But that’s still a minority of less attractive women. Most people do not have casual sex regularly, though according to the Match survey 44% of women have had a ONS.

      If this doesn’t answer your question, please rephrase or elaborate.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “If this doesn’t answer your question, please rephrase or elaborate.”

    At the end of comment 60. I mentioned N (quoted) and you talk about hypergamy.

    Confused :(

    As I said. SES hypergamy doesn’t matter to me. I have no real opinion on it. Simply is.

    “However, past posts have already established that the women pursuing this strategy are in a 10-20% minority. Nothing new on this front.”

    Yes. I tend to forget this detail.
    The problem with the info as given is that it doesn’t show the distribution of numbers within an N class.
    Ex. The 10% higher rate could be due to a uniform 10% increase across all woman or a lumped up 50% increase for 20% within the class.

    I haven’t looked at the paper but I doubt thats available for viewing.

    Conclusion: I was tired and had a headache last night. Makes more sense in the light. My mistake.

  • Lokland

    Also, on a side note.

    I remember arguing with you about advancing paternal age and its effect on mental health.
    I have just had it demonstrated to me how wrong I was.
    I stand corrected.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      I remember arguing with you about advancing paternal age and its effect on mental health.
      I have just had it demonstrated to me how wrong I was.
      I stand corrected.

      Can you explain?

  • Jason773

    Susan, you still haven’t yet specified what the good news is for the average to below average guy here.

    Nor even a potential course of action.

    There is no good news. Same as it always was…stop being average and get better in some way. If you won’t do it, there are many other guys who will. Comes down to the same ol’ value of an egg vs. sperm.

    Personally, as I’ve stated before, I don’t have much sympathy for the average guy who complains and whines, but I will help out the average guy who wants to get better. There is just too much info out there now on working out, nutrition, style and game for one to sit back and go woe is me.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Two items: Hyper/hypo-ogamy need not be clamped to education. I hope. A guy with an AA in, say, mechanical thingies working as a foreman in one of the oil boom areas–Bakken, Eagle Ford, etc.–is going to make a ton more money, have a whole lot more responsibility, be far more an alpha in dealing with the world, be far more competent dealing with the world than the average middle-class suburban guy with a BA in management–where he’ll start off in sales–and no more mechanical competence than you get mowing the lawn, or dominance of his world than the average middle class guy who wasn’t on the football team in HS.
    If going to work in a white shirt is the marker, somebody has a problem. There remains NOKD (Not Our Kind, Dear), which is going to leave some women missing opportunities.

    Second. I worked with a ten-plus. Bright as a new penny, later got advanced degrees in severely different fields. She had a public self-presentation which could be characterized as “don’t even think it”, even around colleagues she’d known for some time. Her reaction to a mildly suggestive remark was a stare that would shrivel the balls on a bull elephant in musth. Cheerful, funny, personable, insightful one on one if you weren’t chasing her.
    She was more or less engaged at the time I knew her–married the guy later on–and I wondered how on earth she got any relationships. The hypothetical guy would have to start out as a colleague or friend most obviously not chasing her, get inside the outer defenses so to speak, and wait for her to decide if he was worthy, after which…. I guess she’d have to do the initiating. Can’t have been easy, considering part of her time and energy were involved in fending off the buttheads.
    Thing is, she had what was known euphemistically as a “stunning figure” which is more than simply sexy. It implies, for some reason, that the bearer is easy.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Two items: Hyper/hypo-ogamy need not be clamped to education. I hope.

      Well it’s cleary not an issue for the educated, and very much an issue for the less educated. I have no idea why that is or what the dynamics are. Quizzle females obviously want men with more education than they have, but I don’t know how much more.

      Cheerful, funny, personable, insightful one on one if you weren’t chasing her.
      She was more or less engaged at the time I knew her–married the guy later on–and I wondered how on earth she got any relationships.

      Or maybe she was just sending clear signals that she was already committed to someone else. “Don’t even think it” is very appropriate in that case.

  • daniel

    or they could have just looked around.

    very attractive women are more able to get what they want – commitment – while giving less of what men want – non-committal sex. very attractive men are more able to get what they want – non-committal sex – while giving less of what women want – commitment.

    of course, the definition of “attractive” is different for men and women.

    the alpha male is the man who can get con-committal sex from the alpha female (most beautiful).

    the alpha female is the woman who can get commitment from the alpha male (rich/famous/etc).

    thus when we look at say, male professional athletes or rock stars, they are usually with the most beautiful women. And when we look at the most beautiful women, they are usually with rock stars, rich guys, or similar.

    these days though, with non-committal sex being easier and easier to obtain for men, the balance has tipped in favor of males (mostly alpha males, but even beta males to some degree).

  • OffTheCuff

    Jason, while I agree self-improvement is key, everyone can’t be above-average at the same time, and not everyone has the same goals.

    If a man is severely failing at mating, then, there’s likely a much bigger problem than merely being “average”. There’s far more of us, then there are of you. Below-average me still has three kids, and an intact family, and far more excellent lifetime sex than most unmarried people, most married ones. I do okay for such a slob.

    But, you are right, whining wont help. Anne’s sister will in general get the “it’s heartbreaking” sympathy from most people, men will get “you loser” reaction. It’s reality, and it’s not nice. The sooner we accept it, the better.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Anne’s sister will in general get the “it’s heartbreaking” sympathy from most people, men will get “you loser” reaction

      That’s apples and oranges. I think it’s heartbreaking that she is incapable of relating to men in an emotionally healthy way. Not because her N is high. I also think it’s heartbreaking if men spend a lifetime incapable of relating to a woman sexually.

      Aside from a few weirdos, most people want to relate to another human being both emotionally and sexually. I am sorry for anyone who wants that and isn’t able to have it.

  • Annie

    Always knew I was a babe :)

    partner count in 30 (ahem) years = 1

    … And back in the real world.

  • Mike C

    Personally, as I’ve stated before, I don’t have much sympathy for the average guy who complains and whines, but I will help out the average guy who wants to get better. There is just too much info out there now on working out, nutrition, style and game for one to sit back and go woe is me.

    +1,000,000. You can’t change your height. You can’t change your facial structure although you can accentuate strengths and downplay weaknesses. But there is an absolute ton you can change. You can get fit and lean. You can learn to dress so you don’t look like a dork. And you can learn to do all sorts of things that project the right demeanor. One thing this post highlights which I’ve mentioned previously is the important of male physical attractiveness. One takeaway should be to do your absolute best to maximize whatever you do have. Life is competition. Mating, career, income, etc. You simply have to make yourself better than the “average guy”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      All of Mike C’s advice is true for women as well.

      One disturbing finding was that underweight women did as well as “very attractive” women:

      For women the effect of being underweight (<18.5 BMI) on within-relationship outcomes resembles the effect of being very physically attractive.

      If that isn’t a clear signal of what men want, I don’t know what is. McClintock explicitly states that women thinner than the universal ideal, so thin they looked less fertile, did best with men. That’s cultural conditioning, and it’s real. It sucks for women, because getting under 18.5 BMI is not even healthy:

      A BMI, or body mass index, of 18.5 classifies you as underweight. Although the struggles of the overweight are well-documented in the media, underweight people also suffer from problems, such as frailty, fatigue, frequent illness and poor self-esteem.

      Those with a BMI of 18.5 to 17.5 are considered extremely underweight, notes a 2007 article in “Today’s Dietitian.” Being underweight comes with its own set of health concerns. You may suffer from a compromised immune system, malnutrition, early onset osteoporosis, weakness and irregular hormone cycles.

      Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/433167-what-to-do-if-your-bmi-is-18-5/#ixzz2KnHMb3Du

      I wouldn’t advise women to try for that. There have got to be many men who will be just fine with BMI of 20-25.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Can you explain?”

    Someone handed me my ass back on a silver platter after proving I was wrong.
    As I said, I stand corrected.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    ” I am sorry for anyone who wants that and isn’t able to have it.”

    This is a rarity. Most people would prefer to point and laugh.

  • Lokland

    @Jason

    “Jason, while I agree self-improvement is key, everyone can’t be above-average at the same time, and not everyone has the same goals.”

    This.
    Red Queen. Not everyone gets to be awesome. Its all quite relative.

    Also, I was mostly just trying to get Susan to admit that there is no good news and being average isn’t a good thing. I’m tired of hearing that everyone is capable of attaining happiness/contentment, its inherently untrue.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Also, I was mostly just trying to get Susan to admit that there is no good news and being average isn’t a good thing. I’m tired of hearing that everyone is capable of attaining happiness/contentment, its inherently untrue.

      It’s not good news but it’s not the end of the world either. If people honestly assess their own SMV, and diligently target potential mates with the same or lower SMV, most can mate. A far higher percentage than earlier in history, that’s for sure.

      Entitlement, or “pickiness” gets in the way of this strategy. People buy into the expectation that they will get to have a beautiful mate, and they refuse to settle. Of course, that’s their right. I’ve seen men here at HUS (no regulars) say, “I’m a 5 but females 5s disgust me.” Fair enough, no one’s forcing you to mate.

  • Guavaberry

    So, is this implying that casual sex (for most women) is not a choice but a necessity? As in, the only reason that women engage in casual sex is because they’re not attractive enough to secure a monogamous relationship? I can just hear the sex pos jezebelsphere foaming.

    Another thing that I don’t see mentioned is self-esteem. Isn’t validation another one of the reasons why some girls seek casual sex? If they’re pretty, they will get male attention (more than they want, usually) but if they’re not, they’re going to want to seek it.

    Not being attractive -> Low self-esteem -> Seek casual sex for validation
    Not being attractive -> Confidence and sexually unrestricted -> Settles for casual sex because she cannot secure a monogamous relationship

    In both cases, the behaviour is rationalized.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Guavaberry

      Upthread I mentioned lots of other factors that are also correlated with promiscuity, and certainly it’s true that many women do it for male validation, even when they don’t enjoy the sex itself.

      The study is not meant to imply that attractiveness is the only predictor of promiscuity, just that it is a significant one.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I’ll admit that I’m attracted to very thin, but “in shape” girls, and I do see why there is a very high appeal for this demographic. Full disclosure, my past gfs were 5’8, 125lb (BMI = 19) and 5’2, 100lb (BMI = 18.3) but I wouldn’t say that they were unhealthy or underweight at all. They had small frames, which was simply very attractive to me.

    I can see how this can be difficult and dangerous for girls with larger natural frames though. This might be due to social conditions, but also due to pushback to so many overweight women these days.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jason

      Full disclosure, my past gfs were 5’8, 125lb (BMI = 19) and 5’2, 100lb (BMI = 18.3) but I wouldn’t say that they were unhealthy or underweight at all. They had small frames, which was simply very attractive to me.

      Well you don’t really know whether they were unhealthy or not, as this is measured by immune function, bone thinning, and hormone levels. The Livestrong article speaks to BMI only, not frame size. 18.5 is the cutoff, so your gf with a BMI of 19 makes the cut for normal, and the other girl is close.

      I’m curious to understand the cultural piece of this. Some theories:

      1. The fashion industry, controlled by women and gay men, has successfully altered male perceptions of beauty in the last 50 years.

      2. In an era where males are feminized and generally not psychologically dominant, being with an underweight woman allows physical dominance.

      3. Female intrasexual competition, which rewards thinness to a pathological degree, produces the “alpha females” from whom attractive males select.

      Any other ideas?

  • mr. wavevector

    Susan,

    Here’s an interesting post that might be relevant: Yes, Women Do Compete for Men. It’s what you could call “older woman game” – show those dejected beta boys a bit of love. It might work for women disadvantaged in looks & weight too.

    Another reader of Dr. White’s post commented on how she (I assume she) made several life changes and has decided to not compete “for the few good man that are left around for women in their late 40′s.” She then states, “I’ve found that it’s a lot more rewarding for me to look for nice and polite younger men who suffer at the hands of mean younger women. I’m very, if not extremely successful at this game, mostly because I’m sure that I don’t want to marry again.” I propose that she is competing – she is acquiring mates by adopting a strategy, and she is successful at it.

    (emphasis mine)

  • mr. wavevector

    Any other ideas?

    A drastic de-emphasis on childbearing and motherhood as the primary role for women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @mr. wavevector

      A drastic de-emphasis on childbearing and motherhood as the primary role for women.

      Ah, that makes sense. That reminds me of something from Buss’ book: For short-term mating, here are the three things men want most in a partner:

      1. Promiscuity/high level of sexual experience
      2. High sex drive
      3. No chance for commitment; best if she is already in a relationship with someone else

      Perhaps a very infertile looking body signals a lack of interest in reproducing, which would mean a lesser interest in commitment. All at a subconscious level of course.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    #2 is pretty much the whole story for me, and at least a few guys that I’ve talked to about this. Now, I’m 6’0″, 210lb, so I’d be hard pressed to find a girl I couldn’t dominate, but still, there is something about being much bigger that is just primal, and I think most guys would agree.

    A big issue now is that there aren’t the same number of thin girls out there for your middle of the road height and weight male. In 1950, if you were an average 5’10″, 170lb male, you could easily find an average 5’4, 120lb female that you would feel physically superior to. Now, the average female in the US is something like 5’4, 150lb. That is only slightly overweight according to the BMI scale, but now there is much less of a chance that the average man will feel physically superior.

    It is supply and demand in this case. When there are much fewer thin girls out there, thin and even slightly underweight girls are now at a premium.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jason

      I just found a really interesting graphic.

      While the average female BMI has gone from 21 to 27 between 1960 and 2009, the BMI of Playmates has gone from 19.4 to 17.6!

      http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2009/st_infoporn_1702

      Doing some research on BMI, men have gained more than women:

      Overweight or obese: Men 74%, Women 64%

      Obese: Men 36%, Women 36%
      http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/index.htm

      So women getting larger doesn’t really explain it.

      The upswing in BMI began right after WWI:

      “The “creeping” nature of the epidemic, as well as its persistence, does suggest that its roots are embedded deep in the social fabric and are nourished by a network of disparate slowly changing sources as the 20th-century US population responded to a vast array of irresistible and impersonal socio-economic and technological forces.

      The most obviously persistent among these were:

      the major labour-saving technological changes of the 20th century,
      the industrial processing of food and with it the spread of fast-food eateries (To illustrate the spread of fast food culture, consider that White Castle, the first drive-in restaurant, was founded in 1921. McDonald started operation in the late 1940s, Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952, Burger King in 1954, Pizza Hut in 1958, Taco Bell in 1962, and Subway in 1962.),
      the associated culture of consumption,
      the rise of an automobile-based way of life,
      the introduction of radio and television broadcasting,
      the increasing participation of women in the work force, and
      the IT revolution.”

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        Wow, where you live also makes a big difference:

        ol

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Not surprisingly, education plays a role:

          Results: Compared with the lowest education level, BMI and Waist Circumference were significantly lower for all three higher education categories, which was consistent for all countries. Women with university degree had a 2.1 kg/m2 lower BMI compared with women with lowest education level. For men, a statistically significant, but less pronounced difference was observed (1.3 kg/m2).

          http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/741481

          High BMI’s were less frequent among well-educated participants, generating less variance. In women, this was due to restriction of all forms of variance, overall by a factor of about 2. In men, genetic variance did not vary with education, but results for shared and nonshared environmental variance were similar to those for women. The contributions of the shared environment to the correlations between education and BMI were substantial among the well-educated, suggesting importance of familial environmental influences common to high education and lower BMI. Family influence was particularly important in linking high education and lower levels of obesity.

          http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016290

  • Guavaberry

    @Susan, my personal theory about the attractiveness of underweight women:

    In a country were obesity is so rampant, thinness is seen as a proxy for self-control and high status.

    Also, the types of clothes worn. Have you ever seen mad men? You might have noticed that the clothes in the era favored body types like Christina Hendricks, which looks fabulous in the show but looks “chunky” in everyday clothes. Very thin girls tend to wear (at least in my texas college campus) flowy clothes, long summer dresses or tight pants with flowy tunic-style shirts bellow. It’s really hard to actually notice how thin they are unless you actually pay close attention to it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      In a country were obesity is so rampant, thinness is seen as a proxy for self-control and high status.

      This makes a lot of sense. In societies where food is plentiful, thinness is higher status.

  • Guavaberry

    I forgot to specify, with high status I mean high socioeconomic status. A year ago I had the opportunity to go to an even in a very exclusive country club. All of the girls were stick thin in gorgeous summer dresses and pearls. Their mothers were too (with the addition of implants).

    Now, the ghetto supermarket and different fried chicken and taco locales in downtown, she-whales are rampant.

  • Jesse

    I have a poor understanding of fashion, media, and culture, and particularly any role those would play in guiding women to be thinner or men to prefer thinner women.

    Off the top of my head it’s not clear to me why women themselves would push these changes. I get the impression that women like having curves. The desire for implants would seem to support that.

    However, my male brain tells me that in an era of fat people, thinness is a good proxy for self-control and intelligence. At a glance I can guess that you’re of good stock.

    Of course the other way of interpreting this is that a very thin woman is merely ill with a disorder of some kind. I’m not sure men would really understand this, though. It might not be an intuitive red flag.

    This is probably not a new theory.

    PS: I am amused by this ‘pick a thin woman so she’ll fill out over the next 20 years’ school of thought. I’m not used to thinking of picking a mate like livestock.

    “Just feed her a little and she’ll grow into a lovely woman!”

  • mr. wavevector

    damn / tags!

    A BMI, or body mass index, of 18.5 classifies you as underweight. Although the struggles of the overweight are well-documented in the media, underweight people also suffer from problems, such as frailty, fatigue, frequent illness and poor self-esteem.

    BMI is a poor estimate of body type that does not take differences of build into account. It has some merit for demographic studies, but not much as a means to evaluate individuals.

    This paper (Measuring Adiposity in Patients: The Utility of Body Mass Index (BMI), Percent Body Fat, and Leptin) shows how useless BMI is on an individual basis. If you look at the scatter plot in Figure 1, you see that women with a BMI of 18.5 have an actual body fat percentage ranging from 10% to nearly 40%. This paper defines the healthy BFP for women as 15% to 25%, so many women with 18.5 BMI are within the healthy BFP range, and some are even overweight.

    This paper also concludes that the BMI cutoff values are too high for women and should be lowered.

  • Jesse

    God damn guavaberry stole my line. I shake my fist at you sir.

    Just messing.

  • Sassy6519

    I can see how this can be difficult and dangerous for girls with larger natural frames though. This might be due to social conditions, but also due to pushback to so many overweight women these days.

    It’s not really difficult to come to terms with, in my opinion.

    I have a rather sturdy bone structure. My bones are denser, and the frame is generally larger than the frames of many very tiny women (probably due to my African-American genealogy). I’ve found that the key to having such a frame is about the same for any frame. I keep my calorie intact within healthy limits, I exercise, and I wear flattering clothing.

    I know that I will never be a stick figure, or so thin that my spine will show through my skin. I’m curvy, and will always be so. With that being said, my body is well proportioned, and I tend to get upset whenever significantly overweight/obese women try to label themselves as curvy. Being curvy means being shaped like an hourglass/coke bottle. Being curvy does not mean having a barrel situated around one’s midsection.

    As the study shows, underweight and normal weight women are considered the most physically attractive. A lot of women need to get within their normal weight parameters and update their wardrobes. If they did so, they wouldn’t have so much grief.

  • Lokland

    Or the rather obvious thing to do with fat.

    Curvy women are still the most attractive and typically get the hottest guys.
    Next is thin vs. chubby. In terms of child rearing potential thin women are better than chubby women and thus more often selected.

    Since curviness is mutually exclusive with chubbiness but not with thinness its not surprising that those women are doing better.

    Note: My wife is 5′ 2”, 102 pds. She has curves. Pretty normal for any woman with a small frame.

    (Relative example, A cups on a 5′ 2” small framed woman look like D cups on a large framed 6′ woman. Not saying this applies to my wife but that its logic that is nat really hard to grasp. Proportions tend to matter quite a bit.)

  • Lokland

    To clarify my really muddled point.

    All really curvy women are normal weight but not all normal weight women are curvy.

    Most chubby women are not really curvy.
    Most thin women are not really curly.

    Most thin women are curvier than chubby women.

    The normal weight non-curvy women skew the average partner count upwards when if the really curvy women are considered separately there is a difference in partner counts/relationship getting potential.

  • Mike C

    #2 is pretty much the whole story for me, and at least a few guys that I’ve talked to about this. Now, I’m 6’0″, 210lb, so I’d be hard pressed to find a girl I couldn’t dominate, but still, there is something about being much bigger that is just primal, and I think most guys would agree.

    Since BMI is being repeatedly referenced on this thread it bears mentioning BMI is simply a shorthand heuristic to try and simply something that would be more complex and involved to measure. Again, for both men and women there is going to be some “normal” and “healthy” level of muscle mass and bodyfat level.

    For example, without checking and off the top of my head, I’d bet Jason’s stats of 6’0″, 210 probably have him as dangerous fat on BMI when in reality he is probably sporting lower body fat than 99% of the male population. The difference is the extra 30-40 pounds of muscle compared to the average 6’0″. I’m carrying excess bodyfat right now, but BMI would have me as grossly obese since I am 6’3″ 280 but again the majority of the difference is the 50 pounds of muscle I’ve gained from 21 to 39.

    So Jason’s point about frame is correct. A woman with a very petite, small bone structure is going to weigh less than a woman of the exact same height with a large bone structure and both could be equally as healthy with different BMIs. The assumption of BMI is normal bone structure and “normal” muscle mass level. The issue with some “underweight” women is their muscle mass level is way too low because they are literally starving themselves and because of their diet they are probably deficient in all sorts of necessary vitamins, minerals, healthy fats (like fish oil and essential fatty acids). It is important to understand that it isn’t the low BMI that is causing the health issues. The really low BMI is a result of deficient nutrition which causes both the excessively low BMI and health issues.

    Body frame/bone structure cannot be underestimated. My entire family has very large frames including the females (my Mom and sister). People are usually shocked at their actual weights because they are not accounting for the frame. I don’t know what human bone density is, but I suspect it is much denser than fat so again a small increase in bone size is going to have a big impact on weight compared to bodyfat. Similarly, someone with a very petite small bone structure is probably going to be much lighter and have a really low BMI if if they have a healthy muscle mass level and get the proper nutrition.

    In any case, a single BMI number isn’t the end all be all assessment without factoring in muscle mass level and bone structure.

  • SayWhaat

    PS: I am amused by this ‘pick a thin woman so she’ll fill out over the next 20 years’ school of thought. I’m not used to thinking of picking a mate like livestock.

    “Just feed her a little and she’ll grow into a lovely woman!”

    Heh, that’s why I pointed it out. I’m baffled as to why men with this attitude don’t have women beating down their doors. :)

  • Mike C

    This paper (Measuring Adiposity in Patients: The Utility of Body Mass Index (BMI), Percent Body Fat, and Leptin) shows how useless BMI is on an individual basis. If you look at the scatter plot in Figure 1, you see that women with a BMI of 18.5 have an actual body fat percentage ranging from 10% to nearly 40%. ***This paper defines the healthy BFP for women as 15% to 25%***, so many women with 18.5 BMI are within the healthy BFP range, and some are even overweight.

    Ha…Mr. Wavevector…looks like you beat me to the punch showing the shortfalls of BMI

    Hmmmm….that healthy BFP range for women is fascinating…I’ll have to check out that paper. That is basically consistent with what I was mentioning previously as the aesthetically ideal range as well. It is particularly interesting to see that value of 15% since I think there was some talk of 15% being “unhealthly” on the low side. In any case, female BF% is alot like the alpha/beta mix with guys in that most guys are plenty beta enough to begin with so debating too much alpha is just an academic exercise. Most guys have to beef up their alpha. Similarly, too many women are floating in the 30 to 35% range who consider their BF level a non-issue so arguing about whether 15% is too low is academic. Get down to 25% or 20% before you worry about whether 15 is too low.

  • SayWhaat

    For women the effect of being underweight (<18.5 BMI) on within-relationship outcomes resembles the effect of being very physically attractive.

    This definitely supports my HS experience where all the skinny girls got boyfriends over their “heftier” counterparts.

  • J

    Does the multipenis factor (MPF) negatively correlate with perceived beauty factor (PBF)?

    I see your diphallia and raise you an excellent case of calcinosis.

    http://imgur.com/YvSD6 (NSFW, or for those who’ve eaten recently)

  • J

    I tend to get upset whenever significantly overweight/obese women try to label themselves as curvy. Being curvy means being shaped like an hourglass/coke bottle. Being curvy does not mean having a barrel situated around one’s midsection.

    I’ve seen big, hourglass-shaped women–think Ana Nicole. But I agree that big and apple-shaped or big and square isn’t curvy. Neither is that that skinny tubular or Olive Oyl body some models have now or the broomstick with bolt-on boobs bodies like Posh Spice. Hour glass is curvy, big or little.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Ref BMI. The guidelines are a scam. They’ve been ratcheted down. When I graduated from OCS, I was 6’2″, 205. Given 6000 calories and thirty-six hours’ sleep, I could have whipped a tiger one-handed. When I went to the fabled, infamous Airborne School, the physical requirements were a joke.
    But according to current standards, I was overweight. It’s called prepping the battlespace for yet another government intrusion into our lives.
    That said, I used to shop at a big box store. From time to time, I went to an upscale deli, the kind with forty-seven varietes of olive oil, if you get my meaning. No fat people in the latter. Nor poor folks.
    My father, who would have been “overweight” when he was the fastest end in the conference UConn was in, says comfort food is for people whose lives are either stressful, unfulfilling, or boring.

  • mr. wavevector

    When I went to the fabled, infamous Airborne School, the physical requirements were a joke.

    Ha. When I went to the Airborne School, I would get myself thrown in the gig pit on purpose just to stay in shape. Now I hear there’s no gig pit anymore, and the PT requirements are even lower.

  • J

    You might have noticed that the clothes in the era favored body types like Christina Hendricks

    When I was a girl in the 60s, every copy of my mother’s Modern Romancemagazines had an ad in the back for a product called Wate -On. The before girl looked like Giselle Bundchen, the after like Christian Hendricks.

    Here are some of the old ads:
    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2010/07/everything-old-is-new-again.html

    I was a scrawn kid and was teased unmercilessly about it.

  • J

    It sucks for women, because getting under 18.5 BMI is not even healthy:

    BMI is BS–for both men and women. A perosn with heavy bones and a lot of muscle will have a high BMI and probably still look and feel terrific.

  • Lokland

    I should mention.
    According to BMI and ideal weight, I’m 35-40 pounds overweight. We’ll within the obese range.

    I’m training for an iron man competition this Summer.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Just to add another tidbit: women who get to too low a body-fat level tend to stop menstruating. The level depends on how fat they were once upon a time, so an always skinny girl can menstruate at 18 % body fat whereas a formerly obese women might stop at 25 %. So when we talk about fertility as a function of curviness, there’s a pretty hard cut-off. If a girl has defined abs, she probably can’t have a baby until she puts on more weight. Sometimes the leptin feedback system isn’t cooperative and women have to put on a lot of extra weight to get it going again. Defined abs generally show up around 8 % for guys and 18 % for women.

    Ideal body fat levels for overall health are probably about 12 % for men and 23 % for women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mr. Nervous Toes

      If a girl has defined abs, she probably can’t have a baby until she puts on more weight.

      If this is true, then there’s something wacked about women trying to get a six pack. Whether they want kids is irrelevant. We’re clearly not meant to look that way – it is the opposite of feminine.

  • J

    @Mike C.

    It appeared this morning that I have lost 2 pounds. I’m hoping that’s the beginning of a downward trend and not just a fluctuation. In the meantime, I added 7.5 to each of my four bi-lat and shoulder machines and did three sets of 12 reps on each machine. I’m sore this morning, but I have weak arms anyway. Previously added 20 ponds to the leg press and didn’t even feel it.

  • Jesse

    “Gosh, Jean, you sure are popular since you put on those extra pounds!”

    I note the direction of his gaze and that he can’t seem to figure out why…

  • OffTheCuff

    Likely water weight, but keep an eye on it. If you weigh daily, keep track of the weekly lowest number.

    I can vary 5 pounds in a day, water weight, and all that – that certainly neither fat nor muscle. A realistic, sustainable fat loss is only about 1 lb a week, unless the person is morbidly obese and can do 2-4.

    While BMI isn’t the entire story, true, it is for most people. Some people who are athletes, it will peg incorrectly, but unless you are specifically training a lot, you’re not the exception. SO many people say “BMI is bunk!” when they have 35% bodyfat and a BMI of 38. Sorry, it’s right enough for you.

  • Valentin

    When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.
    How to explain that?

    Just read “choose attraction” and “attractive women have to try harder” and other assorted Susan Walsh posts.
    The simple fact is that hotter women make two mistakes listed in “The Fallacy of Supply and Demand in the Sexual Marketplace”. The errors are A: Delaying sex to drive up the price and B: Charging a “luxury goods” price if the female is especially attractive.

    It’s really returning to that simple explanation that hypergamy is inherently a selfish and utilitarian view on men.
    That’s why less attractive women succeed in the context of commitment: they find men based on “choosing attraction” which means loving the man not what he gives you or makes you feel. That is the foundation of any meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
    In the end choosing men based on what they make you feel like “excitement” or “I’m a special princess because such a hot guy romances me patiently for sex” is a losing recipe.

    I’m not saying it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a guy doesn’t make you feel anything. But what I am saying is that it has to be a lesser priority far: far less important than looking at the man and the person he is and loving that.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Valentin

      That’s why less attractive women succeed in the context of commitment: they find men based on “choosing attraction” which means loving the man not what he gives you or makes you feel. That is the foundation of any meaningful and long-lasting relationship.

      +1

      This is so important! The more I read and study, the more convinced I am that attraction is malleable and can indeed be a choice. Not that we can spark attraction for everyone, but most of us could widen our net if we opened our minds.

      Wavevector pointed to an earlier post on the success of early bidders, which is your other point. Women who know what they want and go all in at 22-25 are much better positioned for commitment leading to marriage than women who shop around for an additional five years.

      I think you also touched on something very important – excitement is not what we should be looking for in a partner. In fact, excitement up front probably means trouble down the road. Getting to know one another without letting impulsivity take over is a much better way of encouraging intimacy than constant measuring how many sparks are flying. Sparks can take a while, they are not necessarily the first step.

  • Valentin

    Eh, sorry for double-posting but I am not liking the structure of my last paragraph. Here I go again:

    I’m not advocating accepting relationships with men that don’t make you feel excitement or special. But what I am recommending is making that part of attraction subordinate to loving the man and the person he is.

  • Mike C

    It appeared this morning that I have lost 2 pounds. I’m hoping that’s the beginning of a downward trend and not just a fluctuation. In the meantime, I added 7.5 to each of my four bi-lat and shoulder machines and did three sets of 12 reps on each machine. I’m sore this morning, but I have weak arms anyway. Previously added 20 ponds to the leg press and didn’t even feel it.

    Congrats.

    I wouldn’t weigh yourself more then once a week. And always at the same time under the same conditions I only weigh myself on Saturdays after I’ve gotten up but haven’t eaten anything. The intent is to try and avoid random noise and fluctuations and capture the real trend over time. I dropped 15 pounds in about 3 months, and then I got hit with a massive family health crisis (my Mom had a life threatening heart attack and actually is still in the hospital) that affected my workout schedule and eating and put it back on and have since dropped 10 pounds since the beginning of the New Year. It was hard mentally but I’ve resolved that I have to work out 4 times a week minimum and everything and everyone else must take a backseat to that. I think one of the most difficult things with regular exercise is the competing priorities we all face in our daily lives.

    I wouldn’t focus exclusively on scale weight. It is very possible you could gain some muscle while losing some fat so your overall body composition could change without some radical shift in your weight. Admittedly, this effect might not be too large because I’m not sure how much extra muscle mass a middle-aged woman can really add from some moderate weight training. Try to make your weight workout kind of like a pseudo-cardio workout in keeping your heart rate up. Go from exercise to exercise to exercise with minimal rest breaks in between sets. You will keep your heart rate up, plus you’ll finish faster. Try to make sure you do stuff for your core…your lower back and stomach….those are really important for overall stability and posture.

    There is a healthy fat product specifically for women…do some research on it. I believe it might be Primrose oil but that is off the top of my head. I am a huge believer in EFAs. I’ve been supplementing with EFAs since my early 20s and I am pretty sure it has played a big role in how young I look and how good my skin still is (although genetics might play a role, both my parents look young). Most diets are deficient in EFAs because there isn’t alot of foods that have them in plentiful amounts….flaxseed is one…another is salmon but I’m not sure what else. I hope you can persuade your DH to make permanent changes. My fiancee and I love our breads and pastas as well so we allow it once or twice a week. I think it helps to have a designated night that is your “cheat” meal. At least for me, the key is keeping it out of the house. You cannot eat what isn’t there. The fact of the matter is disciplined eating isn’t much different from disciplined sexual/mating behavior. It is about having future time orientation, making good choices in the moment when temptation is there, and doing your best to avoid temptation.

    Good luck to you.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mike C

      I’m so sorry to hear your mom has been unwell. I know how stressful it must be for her and for you to have her in the hospital. I hope she recovers quickly.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “1. For women, the number of sexual partners decreases with increasing physical attractiveness.”

    This is incorrect.

    “NA For women, being very physically attractive vs. average or attractive has essentially no effect on the predicted number of partners (p < 0.01, Model 3)."

    From Summary Table 6.

  • Joe

    @Lokland

    I’m tired of hearing that everyone is capable of attaining happiness/contentment, its inherently untrue.

    Yeah, but you’re demonstrably wrong, Lokland. Everyone is capable. Some just choose not to. Not to get all religious on you, but read up on Mother Theresa if you need some real convincing on the matter.

    My first wife used to rave at me for being such a Pollyanna.Think that’s a cheap platitude? Doesn’t change the facts though – there are always people who started in far more desperate straits than you (no matter who you are) who will do better, be more successful by any measure and be happier than you. There are people born with Down’s Syndrome who are happy, for pete’s sake. Why is that? because they chose to do something and not. Be. Miserable.

    What’s more surprising to me now is that some people (1st wife not excepted) choose to be miserable despite a big leg up.

  • SayWhaat

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, Mike C. I hope she’s doing better now. :(

  • SayWhaat

    My first wife used to rave at me for being such a Pollyanna.Think that’s a cheap platitude? Doesn’t change the facts though – there are always people who started in far more desperate straits than you (no matter who you are) who will do better, be more successful by any measure and be happier than you. There are people born with Down’s Syndrome who are happy, for pete’s sake. Why is that? because they chose to do something and not. Be. Miserable.

    I agree. Being happy is a choice, and it is by no means easy. It stems from being grateful for what you have, and not taking the smaller things for granted.

  • Bells

    @J,

    I see your diphallia and raise you an excellent case of calcinosis.
    http://imgur.com/YvSD6 (NSFW, or for those who’ve eaten recently)

    Wow. That was extremely graphic
    I should know better not to click those links by now

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Though she’s not discriminating in general – she once told me that she doesn’t have the heart to turn down any guy for sex. !!!!!

    That would actually be kinda sweet if she didn’t have all the other issues.

  • Lokland

    I should note, that is from the regression.
    the bivariate stats say otherwise. Quick glance says its the only conflicted finding.

    Looking at the actual regression values there is literally almost no difference in women until you get to the obese category.

    Also, the median range is 6.01 to 5.19 (ugly to hot).

    There is a stronger noticeable difference for men.

  • Lokland

    @Joe

    “Yeah, but you’re demonstrably wrong, Lokland. Everyone is capable. Some just choose not to.”

    No there are people actually incapable of feeling happiness. Brain chemistry.
    I think its clinically called unipolar depression in some random parts of the world but who knows.

    “My first wife used to rave at me for being such a Pollyanna.Think that’s a cheap platitude?”

    Never read it, can’t say. OTH, I think pretty much everything that doesn’t carry actual change with it is a bullshit platitude. Feeling good about sucking doesn’t stop the person from sucking.

    “Doesn’t change the facts though”

    I agree. See above.

    “There are always people who started in far more desperate straits than you (no matter who you are) who will do better, be more successful by any measure and be happier than you.”

    Of course, and only when they become more than me will I care. Thats how competition works.

    ‘There are people born with Down’s Syndrome who are happy, for pete’s sake.

    There also not capable of comprehending why they should be miserable. Bad example.

    “What’s more surprising to me now is that some people (1st wife not excepted) choose to be miserable despite a big leg up.”

    I remember sitting in Grade 12 English discussing some random play. The class got into a discussion and the consensus was smart and miserable over happy and ignorant.

    I would rather be right than happy.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Mike C, sorry to hear about your mother. Those types of things are always difficult. Life likes to throw curveballs….

    Some people are “stress eaters,” and I tend to lose interest in food and life’s pleasures when depressed. I remember once after a miscarriage I had clear ribs showing. My husband told me to eat more, heh.

    Although, BMI is not always a good indication since it does not take into account skeletal structure. Better to take an honest look in the mirror.

  • Lokland

    There also not capable of comprehending why they should be miserable. Bad example.

    They are

  • Lokland

    @SW

    “Being happy is a choice, and it is by no means easy. It stems from being grateful for what you have, and not taking the smaller things for granted.”

    Honest question(s).

    Would you have said the same thing back when you were single?
    Is there a threshold requirement for a minimal number of small things with an additive effect that grant happiness? Or just any random little thing?

  • INTJ

    @ Mike C

    Hmmmm….that healthy BFP range for women is fascinating…I’ll have to check out that paper. That is basically consistent with what I was mentioning previously as the aesthetically ideal range as well. It is particularly interesting to see that value of 15% since I think there was some talk of 15% being “unhealthly” on the low side. In any case, female BF% is alot like the alpha/beta mix with guys in that most guys are plenty beta enough to begin with so debating too much alpha is just an academic exercise. Most guys have to beef up their alpha. Similarly, too many women are floating in the 30 to 35% range who consider their BF level a non-issue so arguing about whether 15% is too low is academic. Get down to 25% or 20% before you worry about whether 15 is too low.

    This exactly!

  • HanSolo

    Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy.

    http://vimeo.com/50652818

    I loved this video.

  • INTJ

    @ OTC

    While BMI isn’t the entire story, true, it is for most people. Some people who are athletes, it will peg incorrectly, but unless you are specifically training a lot, you’re not the exception. SO many people say “BMI is bunk!” when they have 35% bodyfat and a BMI of 38. Sorry, it’s right enough for you.

    Yup. BMI is a terrible metric in comparison to BFP, but that’s no excuse to ignore obesity/overweight.

  • Joe

    @Lokland

    …the consensus was smart and miserable over happy and ignorant.

    Yeah. My class did that too. It’s a very adolescent thing to believe it’s gotta be “smart and miserable” OR “happy and ignorant.”

    Which is why the Down’s Syndrome example isn’t a bad one. That Mother Theresa example is another one.

    [No, the anecdote isn't about her. It's about a native of the worst slums of Calcutta, dying with maggots already eating his sore-infested body. That man died genuinely happy, and it started her ministry. Understanding that can take a lifetime, because it's NOT trivial and it's NOT Pollyannaish.]

    You want happy? You can have happy whether you’re “smart” or not. You can also have your sadness and all the smarts (not the same as education, btw, which fed you the propaganda that ignorance==happy) won’t help you with that.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Joe

      My husband tends to be a bit of a Pollyanna. The minute a crisis hits, he’s looking on the bright side. It drives me crazy sometimes, as I prefer to wallow and say things like “everything sucks.” But I have to admit that his optimism has undoubtedly improved our lives a great deal over time, and may be a large part of the reason we are happily married. His positivity no doubt makes him happier, but it has also made me and the kids happier. It’s good to have at least one member of a household on such a positive wavelength!

  • Lokland

    @Joe

    “It’s a very adolescent thing to believe it’s gotta be “smart and miserable” OR “happy and ignorant.””

    I don’t recall mentioning a dichotomous set of options merely that given that available set of options smart and miserable was preferred over happy and stupid.

    Obviously smart and happy/stupid and miserable were the most and least preferred choices.

    “You want happy? You can have happy whether you’re “smart” or not. You can also have your sadness and all the smarts (not the same as education, btw, which fed you the propaganda that ignorance==happy) won’t help you with that.”

    No shit Sherlock.
    Happiness is only related to happiness if happiness can only be attained through ignorance.

    If you can get happiness by actually being good enough to be happy all the power to you.
    If you suck and your aware that you suck and that there is nothing that can be done about it the only way to be happy is to either
    a) relabel what is good enough and/or
    b) become ignorant of the requirements for good enough
    both of which are representative of an extreme lack of truth seeking which correlates with low intelligence.

    Conclusion, coincident happiness and correctness are not necessarily mutually exclusive but are for some subset of the population.

    Also,

    Downs, inability to determine they suck = happiness. My example used ignorance as a choice. Downs people don’t have a choice.

    Know nothing about MT or Pollyana.

  • Lokland

    Happiness is only related to happiness if happiness can only be attained through ignorance.

    only related to intelligence

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    It’s not so much about happiness/sorrow as it is about spirituality.

    Happiness and sorrow are on the same plane — they each have purpose. They are each of one’s creation. It is not necessary to deny one or the other. Accept both as a part of existence and experience.

    I would consciously choose love, light and unity, which may lead to both happiness and sorrow.

  • SayWhaat

    Would you have said the same thing back when you were single?
    Is there a threshold requirement for a minimal number of small things with an additive effect that grant happiness? Or just any random little thing?

    I think I did say it when I was single. It was (still is) a struggle to believe it, but I do believe that what you put out is what you get. When I was single, I comforted myself with the fact that I had it good, despite the obstacles of dating as a virgin. I wasn’t ugly/fat/dumb, I was becoming more and more familiar with male sexuality and psychology, I had active dating strategies instead of being passive as I had been before, etc. I struggled and had times where I wallowed in self-pity, yes, but I have to keep moving forward.

    I don’t know if I’ve shared this here before, but part of my ADHD diagnosis involved a personality test. When my psychologist called me in to discuss the results, he asked me questions about my background, then pointed to a peculiar spike in my chart. Apparently, my score for cynicism matched the profile of recently released convicts (!), and he was concerned, seeing as how I was a well-educated, UMC girl without so much as a parking ticket on my record.

    When I say being happy is hard, I mean it. It doesn’t come easily to me, but the last thing I want to do is get in my own way. It is so, so easy to wallow in self-pity and believe that you are a victim and the world is out to get you. It is hard to accept responsibility for your own fate. I don’t want to be like that.

    So I won’t.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @SayWhaat

      When I say being happy is hard, I mean it. It doesn’t come easily to me, but the last thing I want to do is get in my own way. It is so, so easy to wallow in self-pity and believe that you are a victim and the world is out to get you. It is hard to accept responsibility for your own fate. I don’t want to be like that.

      So I won’t.

      I admire this so much! You’ve taken responsibility and made a choice about how to live in the world. When you are a mother, be sure and instill this value in your children!

  • SayWhaat

    Some people are “stress eaters,” and I tend to lose interest in food and life’s pleasures when depressed. I remember once after a miscarriage I had clear ribs showing. My husband told me to eat more, heh.

    I’m the same way. When I’m depressed, I get hungry but I can’t bring myself to eat. I went from 115 to 100 lbs in a semester during my senior year of undergrad because I was so stressed out and depressed. Same thing happened when I was in that toxic work environment on my previous team. My parents worried about my weight, but they never made the connection. A lot of people assume that I’m stronger than I actually am.

  • Joe

    Oh gee. Here we go.

    I don’t recall mentioning a dichotomous set of options merely that given that available set of options smart and miserable was preferred over happy and stupid.

    No, you didn’t. But your class did. That’s the level on which they were thinking (which is great for a class of teenagers, btw). If you reached your conclusions earlier or with a deeper understanding, then I congratulate you on achieving M. Scott Peck’s level 3 of understanding at a remarkably youthful age.

    We’re trying for level 4 here.

    Look. You said this:

    If you suck and your aware that you suck and that there is nothing that can be done about it the only way to be happy is to either
    a) relabel what is good enough and/or
    b) become ignorant of the requirements for good enough
    both of which are representative of an extreme lack of truth seeking which correlates with low intelligence.

    …and if you really believe there’s only those two choices, then you’ve made my point. You’ve made you’re choice to be miserable.

    I’ll still contend that you didn’t have to.

  • Lokland

    @Joe

    “…and if you really believe there’s only those two choices, then you’ve made my point. You’ve made you’re choice to be miserable.

    I’ll still contend that you didn’t have to.”

    Unless you can explain why I’m probably going to assume you lack a reason and are just being ignorant :P

    “No, you didn’t. But your class did. That’s the level on which they were thinking (which is great for a class of teenagers, btw).”

    Hmm, my teacher asked us what the options were, we presented all four and then he asked us what of the middle two we would choose.

    I’m pretty sure coming up with AB, aB, bA, ba when given A or a and B or b is something a 4 year old can do.

  • Lokland

    @SW

    “When I say being happy is hard, I mean it. It doesn’t come easily to me, but the last thing I want to do is get in my own way.”

    I understand. But would you agree that the ability to be happy is intrinsically related to a concoction of factors working both for and against happiness.

    Ex. That A a kid got, his winning trophy etc. vs. his failure to get into X school will spit out a happy or not happy result at the end.

    And that theres a certain point on the curve at which we can label people as happy or unhappy depending on whether or not those factors cumulatively place them above the line.

    So by saying ‘it really doesn’t matter that I don;t have a boyfriend’ you took the perceived negative of that from a -5 to a -1 which allowed you to be happy. (The same could be said for over inflating positive values.)

    However, in the end, you still didn’t have a boyfriend you just stopped caring.

    Note: Anything that is to personal in there, a thousand pardons.

  • Lokland

    extrinsically not intrinsic, edit function…

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I’m tired of hearing that everyone is capable of attaining happiness/contentment, its inherently untrue.

    Why is untrue, as long as you don’t expect to get laid like a porn star you can get a strategy to get you a mate. This is very true.

    I forgot to specify, with high status I mean high socioeconomic status.
    Yep what the rich people is doing becomes ‘hot’ by default. When having light skin meant that you didn’t needed to spent any time outdoors like the ‘common man’ there was all sorts of tricks to make you look as pale as a ghost. But when having a tan meant that you could afford caribbean vacations having a tan became the new sign of health and men followed this wherever the status went. I guess it became a sign of status among men to get the hottest woman, whatever that meant at the time.
    I remember in the post war there was devices to flatten a woman’s chest because looking like a 12 year old boy was ‘hot’. So yeah…

  • Ion

    J

    “Neither is that that skinny tubular or Olive Oyl body some models have now”

    How DARE you forget Popeye?

    http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000522089/polls_0727_madonna_arms_flynet_02_0555_111523_poll_xlarge.jpeg

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Yeah. Not everyone can simply “choose” to be happy. Maybe you normal folks…
    Some of us had some more serious issues to work out :P

    On the subject of weight loss: end of 2011, I had pretty effective portion control and some intense cardio every day, so I lost about 30 pounds in 2.5 months. Definitely looked a lot better, IMO. Went on vacation with my family, broke all my good habits, was struggling to get them re-established when slut angst kicked in hardcore, broke up with GF, work stress, drinking, chipotle every day, etc, and I ended up gaining everything back and putting some back on.

    My goal for this year is to get back down, hopefully building muscle mass this time. Lost 10 pounds in the first stage of P-90…then realized I was pushing myself wayyyyy too hard. Went temporarily deaf. Last week, blood pressure went so high that I lost eyesight for a little while. Need to get doses of my BP medication increased, especially since work is doing a major rennovation with allergy-irritating dust. Ugh.

    Getting “more attractive” isn’t exactly easy otherwise everyone would do it. The average person, with the conditions we have set up in this world, has become remarkable overweight. You can’t blame people too much for this, at this point you have to start seriously considering “how do we restructure society so it isn’t so goddam shitty.”

    Going back to do some cardio now…hopefully I can keep all of my senses this time.

  • HanSolo

    If you need a good laugh and to feel happier, watch this. Conan and some guy making fun of an Oprah interview:

  • Ion

    Mike C, I am really really sorry to hear about your Mom. I really hope she recovers.

    Saywhaat

    “When I say being happy is hard, I mean it. It doesn’t come easily to me, but the last thing I want to do is get in my own way. It is so, so easy to wallow in self-pity and believe that you are a victim and the world is out to get you. It is hard to accept responsibility for your own fate. I don’t want to be like that.”

    :-( I agree with you, and I struggle with depression, it’s something I have (and should) constantly look out for because I have a predisposition to it.

    It’s about learning what’s wrong, accepting the feelings and working hard to change them before they suck you into the “depressed funk” that’s harder to come out of, I find. I have to stay on top of it and look for signs (self sabotage, self destructiveness, extreme sensitivity, handling how I feel about what seems to be a string of “bad luck”, etc.,) Predisposition does not = fate, it just makes things a little harder, that’s all.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Mike C
    I hope your mom gets well soon.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    No one ever has everything they dream on. The prettiest girls always have a defect that weights then down and have days when the mirror is an ungrateful bastard as much as we do or get married to their top image and are incapable of leaving the house in a ponytail or let anyone see them with wet hair. And I had worked with rich people that get depressed for things like not being able to afford to change their yatch that year or go shopping to Europe and have to settle for shopping on Miami or get only one designer dress instead of five. Happiness is a choice so is unhappiness. Focusing in what you cannot have and making that the benchmark for Real HappinessTM is the surest way to be miserable no matter how many good things you have going on.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Happiness is a choice so is unhappiness. Focusing in what you cannot have and making that the benchmark for Real HappinessTM is the surest way to be miserable no matter how many good things you have going on.

      Apparently the two most powerful things you can do to be happy are:

      Practice gratitude. Everyone reading this blog has first world problems. Be thankful for what you have.

      Do things for others. Being generous and kind is the most powerful mood booster. One small kindness in the morning can brighten your mood for the whole day, whether you are the giver or the recipient.

  • J

    @Ion

    That was actually more repulsive than my link (Sorry, Bells.) WTF is Madge thinking?

  • J

    @Mike C

    Congrats.

    Thanks!

    <i.I wouldn’t weigh yourself more then once a week. And always at the same time under the same conditions.

    I was weighning myself every morning before breakfast and got very frustrated. It had been a while, so I got a really pleasant surprise this morning.

    I got hit with a massive family health crisis (my Mom had a life threatening heart attack and actually is still in the hospital) that affected my workout schedule and eating and put it back on and have since dropped 10 pounds since the beginning of the New Year.

    I’m so sorry. BTDT. It’s very difficult and can indeed disrupt the good thigs you need to do for yourself and family. After I had the boys, I started to work out 3x/wk, mostly to trengthen by back which had gotten messed up when my abs got weaker. I felt and looked great. Then my parents got sick, I went back to work, etc. Now I have the time again.

    It is very possible you could gain some muscle while losing some fat so your overall body composition could change without some radical shift in your weight. Admittedly, this effect might not be too large because I’m not sure how much extra muscle mass a middle-aged woman can really add from some moderate weight training.

    Actually I see some muscle bulging a bit on the outside of my leg above my knees and my upper arms seem tighter.

    More later….

  • Mike C

    Hope, SayWhaat, Ana, Ion….thanks for the kind words…she’s recovered from the heart attack and surgery but unfortunately having that type of operation and aftermath can lead to an onslaught of other stuff. Google polyneuropathy and ICU psychosis if you want to see some of the stuff that can hit. I’ve learned more about the hospital and healthcare system then you could imagine, both good and bad. Quality of care varies so much depending on the specific facility. A close friend of my fiancee is actually a top trauma surgeon and she said if at all possible you never want to stay in a hospital. Once you are in, there are so many other things that can go wrong. Infections that lead to sepsis from one of the tubes you’ve got stuck in you.

    Something like this makes you confront and think about your own mortality, and there is stress over whether you are doing enough to be the good son. If I don’t visit every day or even every other day, am I neglectful? One of the hospital staff told me they have patients who nobody sees for a few weeks at a time. At the same time, I work full-time, have a part-time side business, and am trying to lose about 30 pounds by my wedding date. There is only so much time I can realistically spend at her bedside without starting to seriously negatively impact my own life. It makes for a lot of stress and conflicted emotions.

    Speaking of which….regarding happiness….still trying to figure that one out…..I think I know one major source of unhappiness and that is unfulfilled expectations. I think one of the hardest things and I say this to some of you still in your early 20s is you start that post-college life at 22 full of expectations of your life trajectory and sometimes it just doesn’t work out to plan. The expectations you set for yourself simply do not come to fruition. Funny this subject came up….I recently ordered this book which was highly recommended and it is supposed to arrive today from Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/0807014273/ref=sr_1_1?s= books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360800807&sr=1-1&keywords=search+for+meaning

    ” Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

    At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.”

    I’m hoping I find some answers in there. I guess I’ll see.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mike C

      I actually have thought of writing a post based on Viktor Frankl. I’ll be very interested to hear what you think of his book.

  • Carlotta

    Wow, and water is wet and the sky is blue. Yes, the more unattractive you are as a women the much faster you need to give it up.

    Sheesh!

  • Ion

    “Speaking of which….regarding happiness….still trying to figure that one out…..I think I know one major source of unhappiness and that is unfulfilled expectations. ”

    I totally agree. Thanks a lot for recommending that book, it’s right up my alley, and I’ll pick it up this week.

    Another mildly unrelated book I may have mentioned, that blew my mind was The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. The author says that happiness is like any other emotion, we get used to it.

    He gives plenty of concrete examples of this, for example when a woman buys a sweater, they were much more “happy” with that choice when they couldn’t return it. Same with a buick a man bought in ’88, you’re not constantly “happy”/excited about that item. So happiness has been attributed to a feeling that someone only gets when satisfied with a new choice.

    That rush, excitement, constantly filled with joy and purpose, is not a sustainable or even important emotion humans have. He even tracked happiness with some countries as examples. Turns out once you have basic needs met (food, shelter, health, and social inclusion), there’s no degree of greater happiness in the first world. He argues that this is because we evolved with environmental limits, and our brains don’t function well with an abundance of options.

    He discusses how this problem of “happiness” and choice relates to divorce and modern relationships too, which is pretty awesome.

  • Ion

    “@Ion That was actually more repulsive than my link (Sorry, Bells.) WTF is Madge thinking?”

    Lol! Not even Bruce Lee was that ripped. Was she crushing up testosterone pills and snorting them, or something?

  • INTJ

    @ Anacaona

    No one ever has everything they dream on. The prettiest girls always have a defect that weights then down and have days when the mirror is an ungrateful bastard as much as we do or get married to their top image and are incapable of leaving the house in a ponytail or let anyone see them with wet hair.

    But wet hair is sexy!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WetSariScene

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    As bad as healthcare is…healthcare billing is even worse.

    On the other hand, my job is a lot of fun, so can’t be too angry.

    I hope you find some answers Mike, and let us know if you learn anything.

    My recent thoughts on happiness…well, I feel awesome after my cardio sessions. A little tired, too, but awesome. Taking a break for the rest of the night.

    Last week was pretty brutal, though. Not being able to exercise combined with the health problems made me feel empty, hopeless, and absolute shit. I started doing this 3 pounds from the medical definition of obesity and just started making progress and now health problems?

    Plus health problems+hypochondriac…oh god. Monday night was disaster. Panic attack.

    What really pulled me out, after a few days, was just the idea that I can still accomplish something, and still improve myself. I could still write, I could still play guitar, I could still do better at work, I could still make more friends.

    So I did all of those instead, and I felt a bit better.

    I think knowing that life is a gift, and you can make something useful of it, is what really makes me happy. That’s what really takes me from “okay, I have food, some friends, and I am not dead” to “Today is a good day :)

    Again, I hope for the best for you, Mike. Good luck.

  • purplesneakers

    Came in here expecting a post from Sassy about how hot she is… didn’t even have to reach 30 posts before we got there, lol.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @purplesneakers

      So good to see you! I’m glad you felt like stepping up and being a bit snarky, that’s fair, haha.

  • J

    @Mike C.

    Try to make your weight workout kind of like a pseudo-cardio workout in keeping your heart rate up. Go from exercise to exercise to exercise with minimal rest breaks in between sets. You will keep your heart rate up, plus you’ll finish faster.

    Sounds like good advice.

    Try to make sure you do stuff for your core…your lower back and stomach….those are really important for overall stability and posture.

    Yeah, I’m planning on adding in some back and abs machines next week.

    There is a healthy fat product specifically for women…do some research on it. I believe it might be Primrose oil but that is off the top of my head. I am a huge believer in EFAs. I’ve been supplementing with EFAs since my early 20s and I am pretty sure it has played a big role in how young I look and how good my skin still is (although genetics might play a role, both my parents look young). Most diets are deficient in EFAs because there isn’t alot of foods that have them in plentiful amounts….flaxseed is one…another is salmon but I’m not sure what else.

    Here’s what Mayo Clinic has to say: “Evening primrose oil (EPO) contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is believed to be the active ingredient. EPO has been studied in a wide variety of disorders, particularly those affected by metabolic products of essential fatty acids. However, high-quality evidence for its use in most conditions is still lacking.” I know women who have used it for premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, but I’m not aware of other uses. I will research EFAs.

    I hope you can persuade your DH to make permanent changes.

    Yeah, me too. In the years we’ve been together he’s dropped enough weight to make a few spare husbands, but he always puts it back on. My FIL died on a combination of heart trouble diabetes and kidney failure, so this is worrysome. I made a lo-cal version of a favorite meal tonight. It did not go over well.

    At least for me, the key is keeping it out of the house. You cannot eat what isn’t there.

    Yeah, that takes two people to make it work. I try not to buy a lot of junk food, but if DH goes to the store he does buy it.

    Good luck to you.

    Thanks. And thanks for all the advice.

  • J

    Was she crushing up testosterone pills and snorting them, or something?

    Vagianl suppositories.

  • J

    Mike, don’t make yourself crazy with the good son stuff. I took care of my parents for about 17 years. Second guessing yourself only makes it harder. Do what you have to do, but continue to live your life, and do for yourself and fiancee. Your mom will understand.

  • http://www.youmeetme.com YouMeetMe

    Very interesting post. However, somebody above said : what to do with this information? Absolutely right! Obviously a more attractive girl will be choosy. She would not like to date a normal looking guy. She is actually narrowing the options and remains deprived of ultimate joy of life.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Said it before:
    Put yourself in a position where you are together with members of the opposite gender for some reason other than dating. Work. Clubs. Civic organizations, male-female athletic groups. Not talking about going to the gym by yourself and saying hello. Situations where you have to interact and work together.
    When I was in college, I discovered a sorority group–probably ed majors–was running a community center in a depressed area. I figured I’d join. Only guy. Lot of work, including eyeballing the local bad actors who saw a different opportunity. Plumbing, carpentry, lifting. Doing the male thing with some of the boys who thought women could be dissed. We visited some of the parents at home and the women wouldn’t go there at night without me. Couldn’t wait to get to the next meeting/activity.
    Married the president.
    Lots of opportunities in other groups, too. Lots of women in a couple of field projects–civil rights in MS. Lots working in the cafeteria or at the bookstore.
    Beats hell out of bars and clubs, among other things because you can hear yourself and your voice isn’t ragged afterwards from trying to talk over the drunks and the band.
    Point is, you get to see each other as you really are, not as you are when it’s meat market time. No pressure, or not as much.
    Jeez, I’m getting all nostalgy here.
    Night.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Richard Aubrey

      That is excellent advice re joining groups, getting involved, etc. Latching onto a sorority effort was brilliant! I’ve thought that if I were single, I’d try doing a build with Habitat for Humanity. Interacting while working together is the key. No pressure, and familiarity can do its work to breed attraction.

  • Jackie

    @Mike C

    Mike C, my thoughts are with you and I will be holding your Mom to the light.
    ((((Mike C and Mike C’s Mom))))

    Your post really resonated with me: My dad was just injured (by a texting driver) and needed to go straight into surgery. Unfortunately, right after getting out– right when we thought everything was safe– there were complications and he needed to go to ER. This was on the day of the big snowstorm. eeeek :(

    Between this, having my car decimated by a drunk in a hit-and-run, and everything else going wrong (my internet router/modem burnt out, the next day my laptop died, even when I tried to donate to charity the bank slapped me with an NSF even though there was plenty of money in the account), I felt like I was *cursed*. Or at the very least, hexed.

    The thought of losing my dad was almost more than I could bear. I couldn’t sleep and my stomach hurt so much from the stress that even throwing up didn’t make it feel better. :( There is more, but probably too personal for me to share. :sad:

    In the middle of this, I was asking the same questions as you, Mike C and ADBG. Why are we here? Why is there *so* much suffering? How can we take the concepts of “happiness” and “peace” and anchor them here on Earth?

    I think a lot of it boils down to this:

    Gratitude and releasing love into the world. That little bit of gratitude, that tiny granule of love, begins to open something up, I think.

    For those interested in CHristianity, consider the parable of the loaves and the fishes. Look how much came that one small meal — 2 measly fish and a little bitty loaf of bread– which multiplied itself beyond comprehension by being thankful and sharing. I think it makes sense as an allegory. I’m sure there was literal food, but I think this is about sustenance on a deeper level.

    Look inside yourself:

    Is there one drop of love you can express, one ounce of gratitude? Sometimes it looks like there is not much to be grateful for, other than the sun is shining. But even acknowledging that, will open your mind and heart to see that, even in the midst of sadness, how much goodness we do have already.

    That tiny bit of love we express is like the loaves and fishes: It issues forth from us, multiplies and returns back to us ten times over. Even just a hug or a kind word. If you’re surrounded by strangers, you can just silently think to yourself, Hello, fellow citizen, the same Spirit sits enthroned in both our hearts. (That’s what I do, though I may be a weirdo! ;-) )

    As you go about your business this way, life takes on a different quality. The gratitude and love you are expressing is issuing forth and returning back to you. You don’t know what shape or form it will take, but it is absolutely good. And happiness and a kind of peace are found there.

    That is my 0.03, anyway. I will be thinking of you and your Mom– you, too, ADBG. :)

  • Joe

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment.

    I wasn’t expressing myself particularly well to Lokland – SayWhaat did a much better job. But I do want to re-iterate one point, that happiness and intelligence (and certainly happiness and education) are not related. One does not have a correlation with the other, either positive or negative. It’s about how you choose to live your life.

    This is Hooking Up Smart, not Hooking Up Happy. Pain in life may very well be inevitable. The suffering, though, is optional.

  • Mike C

    Thank you Susan……and thank you too Jackie. I hope your Dad has a speedy recovery. Thanks for your comment…you’ve given me stuff to ponder.

  • J

    Hi Jackie

    It’s been a stressful few weeks for you. I hope things go better and wish your dad a speedy recovery. Take good care of yourself.

  • Situational 10

    “There is no ‘I’ in slut or ugly. But there is a “U”.

    This is offensive to the hordes of physically unattractive people out there in this country (and there is a lot of them). Just because they are physically unattractive does not mean they are sluts or bad people.

    All this study does is prove that the most attractive people have their pick of whomever, whenever, wherever and whatever. They have the best of both worlds; casual and serious.

    Everyone has intuitively known this since the dawn of Planet of the Apes.

  • Mike C

    I want to beat OTC and Ana to it since they usually nail it first….but Situational 10 is Plain Jane

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    @Jacquie
    My prayers for you and your dad. *hugs*

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Mike C
    A few years ago I had to read Frankl’s book for a class… it didn’t resonate a whole lot when I was young and dumb, but now that I’ve grown a little older (and hopefully a little wiser) I look back at it and see a lot of good inspiration. Definitely recommend it.

    I think I know one major source of unhappiness and that is unfulfilled expectations. I think one of the hardest things and I say this to some of you still in your early 20s is you start that post-college life at 22 full of expectations of your life trajectory and sometimes it just doesn’t work out to plan. The expectations you set for yourself simply do not come to fruition.

    Couldn’t agree more. Someone once told me expectations are the cause of 90% of unhappiness in life, and I couldn’t agree more. The last few years I’ve tried to shift to an “Enjoy the trip and don’t worry about the destination” philosophy, and it’s definitely been a positive change.

  • Cooper

    A little FR: I’ve started seeing that 19yo ;)

  • Iggles

    @ Valentin:

    That’s why less attractive women succeed in the context of commitment: they find men based on “choosing attraction” which means loving the man not what he gives you or makes you feel. That is the foundation of any meaningful and long-lasting relationship.

    In the end choosing men based on what they make you feel like “excitement” or “I’m a special princess because such a hot guy romances me patiently for sex” is a losing recipe.

    + 1000

    Character matters.

    @ Bells:
    @J,
    I see your diphallia and raise you an excellent case of calcinosis.
    http://imgur.com/YvSD6 (NSFW, or for those who’ve eaten recently)

    Wow. That was extremely graphicI should know better not to click those links by now

    Ha! I learned my lesson and did not click this time!

  • OffTheCuff

    Heh, I was asleep, Mike. “Carlotta”, too.

    Congrats, Cooper!!

    Jackie: “Is there one drop of love you can express, one ounce of gratitude”

    The key is expressing it in the right way, so there’s is a chance of it coming back. Otherwise you can express for years, and have little come back. Eventually you get tired, and close up shop. I think there’s a limit on what we can give before people burn out.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Big-time soprano Beverly Sills had a lot going wrong in her life. Family illnesses and so forth. She was known as “Silvery Bells” because, although she was not happy, she was cheerful. Lots of benefits.

    Susan. WRT working together in groups: It’s a great filter without any effort. You see how people handle things; difficulties, other people, how they are before coffee (sometimes), conversations go to odd places while you’re waiting–same as in the Army but with different results.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      WRT working together in groups: It’s a great filter without any effort. You see how people handle things; difficulties, other people, how they are before coffee (sometimes), conversations go to odd places while you’re waiting–same as in the Army but with different results.

      That’s a great point – you can actually learn a lot about a person’s relationship fitness or compatibility before you ever take it to the first date. And of course, the risk is lower for all parties – you have a much better sense of whether the other person finds you attractive before you risk rejection.

  • Iggles

    Susan – whoops. Quoted the same thing, haha. I fully agree with your response:

    I think you also touched on something very important – excitement is not what we should be looking for in a partner. In fact, excitement up front probably means trouble down the road. Getting to know one another without letting impulsivity take over is a much better way of encouraging intimacy than constant measuring how many sparks are flying. Sparks can take a while, they are not necessarily the first step.

    Mike C – sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she gets well soon.

    Cooper – congrats! Are you guys dating or have you made it official?

  • Sassy6519

    @ purplesneakers

    Came in here expecting a post from Sassy about how hot she is… didn’t even have to reach 30 posts before we got there, lol

    Haha!

    At least you can say that I’m consistent.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Cooper

    A little FR: I’ve started seeing that 19yo

    Congrats dude! Be sure to keep us updated.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.

    — Voltaire

  • Sassy6519

    @ Mike C

    I hope that your mother makes a healthy and speedy recovery.

  • Jesse

    I think I know one major source of unhappiness and that is unfulfilled expectations. I think one of the hardest things and I say this to some of you still in your early 20s is you start that post-college life at 22 full of expectations of your life trajectory and sometimes it just doesn’t work out to plan. The expectations you set for yourself simply do not come to fruition.

    It’s true there are factors we don’t control, such as genetic endowment and luck, but for me it’s no excuse not to plan big and do less than my best.

    Hopefully people find at least one thing they are passionate about while’ they’re still growing up. In my case I’ve found two or three. The essential point for me is to plan the roadmap and then sprint every day to realize my goals. I don’t control whether I take over the world but if I’ve seriously given my best – and that demands more of an effort than two hours of videogames every day or idly surfing the Web – then I’ve done what I can, and I cannot worry about that which I do not control. So I like to shoot for the stars, work my ass off to make that happen, and then if I land on the moon… you know. Expectations should simply be whatever one uses to motivate themselves – but you must have the plan and work ethic to back it up.

    I suppose a lot of this applies to mating as well. Indeed I’ve sometimes thought to myself that everything I do could be described as an effort to increase my value enough to land a wife I’d really be thrilled to have. If I want her to be exceptional, I must be too.

    Of course that’s not entirely true, because there is a significant element of personal fulfillment involved, but I think it’s a valid point.

  • Cooper

    @everyone

    I can’t say more yet, but stay tuned.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Cooper

      I can’t say more yet, but stay tuned.

      Gah! Please forward details asap. You’ve got lots of people here rooting for you.

  • Ion

    Yay, way to go Cooper!

  • Ion

    “Put yourself in a position where you are together with members of the opposite gender for some reason other than dating. Work. Clubs. Civic organizations, male-female athletic groups. Not talking about going to the gym by yourself and saying hello. Situations where you have to interact and work together.”

    I agree Richard. I don’t think the gym is necessarily the best place for average betas to meet women. I’d assume their competition is buff 6′ tall extroverted 30 year old men looking for girls in reasonable shape. Like telling an average girl to meet men at model try-outs.

    I believe average women also get hit on there– I have, and I was kind of annoyed, made me self-conscious the whole time (“why is that guy looking over here? I look sweaty and fat when I work out, blah blah”). Though the gym might be an OK place to meet women if you’re an alpha or look like one. If you’re looking for more unrestricted and/or extroverted women it may also be a good place, I don’t know, ymmv.

    Work is actually a good idea. Most restricted girls are either at work or home. There should be a guide for men to flirt at work without it coming across as harassment. My last place of work had an IT department of 25 or so, the guys in there were a lot more chatty and playful (plus I got along with them), than in the real world. Sadly then, I didn’t want to date men where I worked, I always think that was a big mistake.

  • Ted D

    ADBG – “You’re not in the SMP, this information is of curiousity and trivia to you, not action. Unless you’re trying to teach your sons.”

    Yeah, I know I’ll never be in this SMP, even if I end up single again I’d be shooting for an entirely different demographic. But as far as it goes, I’m concerned about my sons AND daughters. I mean, this info tells me my girls are likely to be more promiscuous because they aren’t 9’s or 10’s. Not exactly good news IMO.

    Susan – “low SES
    parental divorce
    childhood trauma or lack of attachment
    personality traits: Low conscientiousness, low agreeableness, high risk-seeking, high novelty-seeking
    the DRD4 dopamine receptor mutation
    higher prenatal exposure to androgens
    sociosexual orientation”

    Well I don’t know about the DRD4 Receptor and prenatal exposure, but do you have ANY idea how many girls around me fit the description you gave above? Seriously, broken homes are abundant here, as are girls with “daddy issues” and childhood trauma. I would comfortably wager that at least 50% of the households in our school district are single parent homes, or perhaps second marriage homes (and I know of at least two girls my boys know that have problems with stepdad. Hell we had a stepfather on our doorstep accusing one of our boys of misconduct WHILE the girl in question was standing beside him claiming our boy NEVER touched her!)

    I realize you don’t see much of this in your neck of the woods, but good Lord this stuff is rampant in the lower SES areas of the U.S. and getting worse by the week. Of all the friends our children have, I can only think of two that are in an intact first marriage family. Most of their friends are living in second+ marriage homes (just like our kids in fact) and the rest are living with mom only. I worry that most of them are a bad influence, but looking at the other kids they have to choose from I’m honestly starting to believe our kids are picking the cream of the crop around here, which really isn’t saying too much.

    If I was in any way interested in pushing my boys towards the player/cad lifestyle, they could literally clean up around here. I’ve come to understand our school district is one of the most popular for guys looking to score a low class fuck buddy and I completely understand why the richer boys from other school districts troll around our area looking for hookups. There are so many damaged young women around that any guy with a fancy car and a little loose cash can practically just pull up and open their car door. Oh and don’t forget the thugs selling drugs and guns. They have nice cars and cash too.

    “I think you also touched on something very important – excitement is not what we should be looking for in a partner. In fact, excitement up front probably means trouble down the road.”

    I agree 100%. But let’s be honest, this is NOT what common social norms preach is it? Young men and women are constantly looking for the “next rush” of excitement, and now most young people are simply not happy unless there is something to occupy their time. Meaning, they can’t entertain themselves to save their lives. They are constantly bombarded with texts, calls, emails, chat, video games, movies on demand. Hell, we are raising our children to EXPECT instant gratification at all times, and we are surprised they can’t manage to keep a relationship?

    You’ve been married a long time. How much of that married life has been massively exciting? The 12 years I was married probably produced at best 24 to 48 hours of sheer blissful excitement, maybe a few months worth of decent excitement, and a whole lot of the same old same. THAT is life, and we really aren’t preparing our children for it at all.

    Lokland – “I would rather be right than happy.”

    As much as it sucks I tend to feel the same way. I put a lot of effort into being right AND happy when possible, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen too often. :P

    Mike C – I’ll keep your mother in my prayers. Have hope. My mother had a mastectomy just before the holidays and is almost done with her chemo. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I thought I should, and I told her so. She laughed and said “You have a family and a life to take care of. I know you love me and care about me, but I also know you have responsibilities and people depending on you. Do what you have to and know that I don’t feel neglected.” (paraphrased. I missed some of it because I started crying as she said it.)

    All – please excuse me if I’m overly annoying or assholean this week. I caught a nasty cold and have spent most of my time since Tuesday afternoon in bed drugged into unconsciousness. I’m only at work today because I don’t want to miss any more time and let things slide. I should be home in bed. 

  • Ted D

    Wow. total post failure… chalk it up to my cold meds. :(

  • Just1Z

    @Ana
    “I remember in the post war there was devices to flatten a woman’s chest because looking like a 12 year old boy was ‘hot’. So yeah…”

    did anyone ask da (straight) menz?

    I mean, I’m not bap obsessed myself, but boy-like? come on people, does that sound like a fashion move created by straight men? now, corset provoked corsetry…that’s a whole different kettle of lobsters

  • Just1Z

    sorry about repeating the corset word corset…giving a little too much away there I think corset.

  • Just1Z

    I probably meant curvaceousness / curveosity but my glazed over eyes, drool lubricated keys and stiff ham fist fingers caused me to mess up…my bad

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Jackie, *big hugs*… I am sorry about all that has happened and wish your father a speedy recovery.

  • Jesse

    Most restricted girls are either at work or home.

    I’m totally gonna start breaking into people’s homes to meet those restricted ladies.

    How else am I going to get them on a dinner date?

  • Jesse

    I’ll wait in the bedroom and then when they come home I’ll ask them out. Can’t go wrong.

  • J

    I want to beat OTC and Ana to it since they usually nail it first….but Situational 10 is Plain Jane

    I don’t mind Plain Jane as Plain Jane. I read her first three posts/thread, and then I ignore her when she stops making sense. It’s all the fake avatars that piss me off.

  • J

    My mother had a mastectomy just before the holidays and is almost done with her chemo.

    Gosh, Ted, I’m sorry to hear that and I hope all goes well.

    I felt bad that I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I thought I should, and I told her so. She laughed and said “You have a family and a life to take care of. I know you love me and care about me, but I also know you have responsibilities and people depending on you. Do what you have to and know that I don’t feel neglected.” (paraphrased. I missed some of it because I started crying as she said it.)

    You have a good mother, Ted.

  • J

    Good luck, Cooper.

  • Ted D

    J – thanks for the kind words. One thing my mother and grandmother always stressed to me as a young lad was this: once I married and had a family, my primary responsibility was to my wife and children always. They told me that they hope to see me, and hope that I’m involved in their lives, but they fully understood that my priorities would be elsewhere.

    In many ways my mother is a saint for dealing with my VERY difficult teenage self. She still talks about me like I was a darling child, but I know what I was up to and I wasn’t an angel. I was smart and didn’t get caught. :P

    At any rate she is doing excellent. She lost her hair of course, but she is from good, strong Polish stock and the doctor is amazed at how well she is recovering. I think she took the loss of her hair much harder than the actual mastectomy. In fact, she was joking a few weeks after the operation that her back hadn’t felt that good in years!

  • Just1Z

    Sorry that I didn’t read the older comments before making my old one. Best of luck to all the sick / injured / troubled.

    g’night

  • Bells

    @Susan,

    That is excellent advice re joining groups, getting involved, etc. Latching onto a sorority effort was brilliant! I’ve thought that if I were single, I’d try doing a build with Habitat for Humanity. Interacting while working together is the key. No pressure, and familiarity can do its work to breed attraction

    I’ve volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in the past. And I’d highly recommend it. The physical work is demanding but it can be mostly adjusted to each individual’s level of strength.

    When the group was not working on the site, we were left to occupy ourselves with different activities. After a week of living and working together, everyone developed a tight group bond. It’s an awesome experience and I developed a lot of close friendships. Also, it’s a good ratio of guys and girls so there were a lot of opportunities to build connections. Unfortunately I didn’t develop any relationships, but there was at least two couples that started dating seriously after Habitat.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    I’ve volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in the past. And I’d highly recommend it. The physical work is demanding but it can be mostly adjusted to each individual’s level of strength.

    When the group was not working on the site, we were left to occupy ourselves with different activities. After a week of living and working together, everyone developed a tight group bond. It’s an awesome experience and I developed a lot of close friendships. Also, it’s a good ratio of guys and girls so there were a lot of opportunities to build connections. Unfortunately I didn’t develop any relationships, but there was at least two couples that started dating seriously after Habitat.

    That sounds like fun. :)

    I like meeting new people through activities. I haven’t really had the opportunity to do it as much recently though, thanks to my brutal grad school schedule. I did, however, decide to sign up for a pottery class about a week ago. I’ll be learning to work on a potter’s wheel, and I’m excited to begin making things. This opportunity would also be a great way for me to make some new friends and focus on myself.

    I’m worn out on online dating/the bar scene/theatre guys. I’m taking a dating sabbatical at the moment, and I think that this class will be a good opportunity for me to indulge in a hobby that I am interested in. For once, my primary goal is not to find someone to date. If it happens, fine, but I’m not seeking it. I’ll be thrilled if I can even make a halfway decent key bowl for myself.

  • J

    @Ted

    I’m glad your mom is in good spirits and is making a good recovery.

    @Sassy

    I’m glad to see you are taking a break. Often we learn a lot about ourselves during these break times that makes us healthier and better able to recognize good relationships when they occur.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I’ve come to understand our school district is one of the most popular for guys looking to score a low class fuck buddy and I completely understand why the richer boys from other school districts troll around our area looking for hookups.

    They do that too there huh? Interesting.

    did anyone ask da (straight) menz?
    Problem is that straight men don’t do anything to stop this trends and adapt to whatever the market says is hot as long as they can get laid. So all this “Women shouldn’t look X way” are empty words if they still date, marry and reproduce, hence hard to believe they care that much, YMMV.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Mike, hope your mom has a smooth and rapid recovery.

    Anecdote Alert: the whole gender imbalance/college ratio thing came up in my class again last night and I have to say that this time it sounded like half the girls were on the verge on just giving up entirely on the goal of having educational parity with a mate, let alone indulging in academic hypergamy. Two very alpha types were so adamant about their own career focusing tha they actually *wanted* SAHD mates with domestic skill suites and inclinations, but the others were sort of confused and fatalistic.

    All admitted that female intrasexual competition had been increasing every semester.

    Men generally reported a desire for work-life balance and for prioritizing a holistic quality-of-life view over SES upward mobility or chasing a corner office. This would appear to go well with Baumeister type predictions that the traditional male work ethic was one way of harnessing the desire to obtain sex with social goals of productive and ambitious worker bees. With the two having become far less coupled, more young men are questioning the long-term physical and psychological benefits of the rat race.

    The usual caveats all apply—unscientific survey, small sample size with possible self-selection elements, self-reported results, etc.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BB

      These FRs from the front lines are most interesting. As you say, they reflect real developments and predicted responses. Personally, I think it’s excellent your students are getting the opportunity to think about it now rather than bumbling along without any sense of the big picture. I’d love to audit your class… :)

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    It is clear that sexual and romantic outcomes are at least partially socially-structured.

    Very interesting article and results. Not what I would’ve expected. The only counter-evidence that I’ve run across is:
    http://human-nature.com/nibbs/02/sotp.html

    I think Etcoff’s still working at Harvard and MGH, right in your own backyard. She was married to Pinker, for awhile anyway! Granted this was 10 years ago, and I haven’t read her book yet (just read about it).

    Wikipedia’s article on “physical attractiveness” summarized some of her research findings thusly:
    Symmetrical men and women have a tendency to begin to have sexual intercourse at an earlier age, to have more sexual partners, to engage in a wider variety of sexual activities, and to have more one-night stands. They are also prone to infidelity and are more likely to have open relationships.

    Statistically, I’m not sure how to reconcile this with McClintock’s findings. It’s possible that symmetrical men are skewing things dramatically, or perhaps very attractive women a notch below “the most attractive” cohort are playing around a lot…?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Megaman

      Interesting comparison. I’m sure there must be others, as McClintock’s research goes up against an entrenched view re Sexual Strategies Theory, which must be compatible with Etcoff’s work. As you will recall, Schmitt avoids using medians in his papers, a highly dubious practice in light of his findings.

      I guess we’ll have to stay tuned…

  • Just1Z

    @Ana
    Us hetero men find it much safer to leave women’s fashions to the women and those that they are daft enough to follow. My regret is that my gen women wore Dr Marten fugly bootz, not the elegant heels that both preceded and followed…two inch heels were seen as cruel and damaging at that time!!!

    Imagine my consternation at what is worn now…whoever controls women’s fashions must just laugh themselves sick every night at what the herd will swallow, and how little time need elapse until the very opposite is the new line accepted by the herd.

    Puts men’s fashions of kipper ties and flairs vs drainpipes and string ties in perspective (still crap)

    At the end of the day, men want a shag. Whether she’s wearing haute couture or jeans and a wet t-shirt matters little TO US! I hope I’m not reprimanded for sharing that little man secret

    Hope all’s well with your sprog(?)

    (That’s a nice word ;) )

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    At the end of the day, men want a shag. Whether she’s wearing haute couture or jeans and a wet t-shirt matters little TO US! I hope I’m not reprimanded for sharing that little man secret

    I don’t think is a secret

    Hope all’s well with your sprog(?)

    We don’t call him sprog! That sounds awful! We call him Spawn :p
    William is teething :( aside from that all is well. Thanks for asking.:)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      We don’t call him sprog! That sounds awful! We call him Spawn :p

      I got a good belly laugh out of this one!

  • Just1Z

    Sprog is not nasty at all! It’s like tyke (if that works for you). An affectionate word for a boy (mainly). Spawn must mean something different there :)

    Glad to hear he’s doing well

  • J

    Two very alpha types were so adamant about their own career focusing tha they actually *wanted* SAHD mates with domestic skill suites and inclinations, but the others were sort of confused and fatalistic.

    Believe or not, I know two women doctors who have that arrangement and are really grateful for it. Not my cup of tea, but they love it.

  • J

    William is teething aside from that all is well.

    Already? He’s not even 6 months. Wow! Mine got their first teeth at 9 months; they were late as I was.

    Poor kid. Teething is rough.

  • J

    @J1Z

    A lot of the really nasty childfree sites call kids “sprogs.” That’s why it sounds bad to Ana.

    Interesting to see the origin of the word. I had a feeling that they got it from somewhere else. It sounded sort of nautical to me, like a boy who worked on a boat might be a sprog.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I got a good belly laugh out of this one!

    I’m working in a post in a secret mommy blog that will have you rolling on the floor. We nerds make horrible parents ;)

  • Just1Z

    @J
    Well it exists here, it’s an old word I think. Wouldn’t’ t know about childfree sites, thanks for the heads up. Seems a shame to turn a nice word into a mean one, it’s not like there’s a lack of alternatives

  • Just1Z

    Best not use sprog down in the antipodes.
    It means the same as spunk does here, and that is NOT the same as it does over your way…

    Sprog seems to have a few meanings, some good, some not, some spurty

    I meant the cute one FTR

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Already? He’s not even 6 months. Wow! Mine got their first teeth at 9 months; they were late as I was.

    This kid is growing like bamboo. We have a neighbor with a 9 months old girl and he is bigger than her. Hubby and I joke that he will be able to pick both of us with one hand when he becomes a teenager. Kid is going to be huge.

    Poor kid. Teething is rough.

    I know is really mortifying and the freaking tooth is notwhere to be seen so it wil take a while.

    A lot of the really nasty childfree sites call kids “sprogs.” That’s why it sounds bad to Ana. ,/i>

    Oh sorry I actually was just trying to joke. I didn’t knew the term before hand, just wanted to turn it up a notch, if you know what I mean.

  • Just1Z

    @Ana Spawn worked well for me FWIW

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    The gender imbalance thing came up in a discussion at work, too. Normally I address these discussions only to guys, but there was a girl there who insisted on getting involved in the conversation.

    I explained the “economics” portion of how a 60-40 distribution would not necessarily be good for women. Also, paradox of choice.”

    “How dare you tell me to lower my standards! How dare you say that I shouldn’t be allowed to pick from many men!”

    Luckily situations like these don’t surprise me anymore.

    FWIW, my SO is obviously “hypogoamous” in terms of education. The girl has a PharmD, whereas I have a lowly bachelor. Hehehehehehehe.

    She seems okay with it. I guess especially since I have ambition to go get an MBA in the near future (soon, work life has to settle down a bit first).

    Jackie, thank you for your kind words. You are always an inspiration and I feel very fortunate to know you :)

  • Glenn

    “whereas obese women report approximately 10% fewer partners.”

    “and obese men are predicted to report 27% fewer partners.”

    Which goes toward proving what I have said for a long time. fat guys have a much harder time getting women than fat women do getting men. So why is it we only hear how big women have such a hard time?

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Shorter version of Bastiat,

    Womenz: We will forever destroy the patriarchy. No longer will men be wage slaves, instead we will be the wage slaves while the men play video games at home. AHAHAHAHA!!!

    Menz: Um… okay?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Womenz: We will forever destroy the patriarchy. No longer will men be wage slaves, instead we will be the wage slaves while the men play video games at home. AHAHAHAHA!!!

      Menz: Um… okay?

      Hmmmm, maybe men don’t have it so bad after all….

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, re: audits. I may have to try to persuade you to let me fly you down to be our VIP guest lecturer for an evening. You’d be the big hit of the whole term.

  • Lokland

    @Joe

    “I wasn’t expressing myself particularly well to Lokland – SayWhaat did a much better job. ”

    No you expressed yourself quite well. You insulted me a few times then called me hopeless while throughout telling me I was wrong without actually explaining why.

    Sayhwaat did the exact opposite, I merely disagree with her on the truth of a few of her premises. Other than that I couldn’t fault her for anything.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Coop

    A little FR: I’ve started seeing that 19yo.

    Hey, not bad! This wasn’t the flake, but the other girl you met online? I recall the older male regulars advising you to use her for the “experience” and move on. Typical… :???:

  • Lokland

    @Coop

    Good for you. First date on Valentines?

  • OffTheCuff

    Mega: ” I recall the older male regulars advising you to use her for the “experience” and move on. Typical… ”

    No.

    I told him to spend time with the girl who is obviously into him, and to not blow her off because she isnt “perfect”. To see where it leads, even if he isn’t sure where it will go. To not wait for perfection, and not shoot himself in the foot by trying save her from herself. That the worst thing that can happen is he gets some experience, and learns something about himself, and the best is not known.

    I did not tell him bang her to and dump her.

  • Snow Flake

    “The Most Attractive Women Have the Least Casual Sex”

    The least casual sex maybe, but still the most sex over all.

  • Lokland

    @Ted D

    “As much as it sucks I tend to feel the same way. I put a lot of effort into being right AND happy when possible, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen too often. ”

    Funny story. I was reading up the thread and knew this was you before I hit the top.

    You do understand my problem though, achieving cognitive dissonance that allows happiness requires relabelling failure as something acceptable.

    My INTJ doesn’t do that trick.

  • Snow Flake

    “They use short-term mating to acquire “good genes,” generally identified by physical attractiveness and bravado. They use long-term mating strategies to acquire material support in raising offspring.”

    Does this imply that women consciously look for a physically attractive man to have a child with and then dump him for another man to raise the child with?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Snow Flake

      Does this imply that women consciously look for a physically attractive man to have a child with and then dump him for another man to raise the child with?

      No, Sexual Strategies theory says some women will forego the co-parenting all together if the guy is hot enough. In this way, she’ll get a strong and healthy child genetically, even if she has to raise it herself. Alternatively, she could get a less attractive male who was willing to help her raise the child. The ideal, of course, would be to have the hottest guy be a “dad” instead of a “cad,” but that is rare. Most women will make the tradeoff, according to SS Theory.

      This study does not support that theory, but rather suggests that society and culture play a large role, especially wrt the sexual double standard.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    You do understand my problem though, achieving cognitive dissonance that allows happiness requires relabelling failure as something acceptable.

    Unless you were wrong about what you label as success. Which I think is the point we are trying to make. Realizing that banging a new hottie every week is SOME guy idea of success. It doesn’t has to be yours is not relabelling failure but realizing that goals can be wrong from the very beginning, capisce?

  • J

    I know is really mortifying and the freaking tooth is notwhere to be seen so it wil take a while.

    Maybe it’s a cold or earache, not teething.

    I hated watching my kids teeth. So little you can do to help. I used to get these Lender’s mini-bagels:

    (http://www.hannaford.com/product/Lenders-Fresh-Plain-Mini-Bagels/766384.uts#)

    I’d freeze them, tie a ribbon around them and hang them around the boys’ necks. They made great teething rings–cold and hard.

  • INTJ

    @ Cooper

    Wonderful! Good luck going forward!

  • Snow Flake

    “Symmetrical men and women have a tendency to begin to have sexual intercourse at an earlier age, to have more sexual partners, to engage in a wider variety of sexual activities, and to have more one-night stands. They are also prone to infidelity and are more likely to have open relationships.”

    “Statistically, I’m not sure how to reconcile this with McClintock’s findings. It’s possible that symmetrical men are skewing things dramatically, or perhaps very attractive women a notch below “the most attractive” cohort are playing around a lot…?”

    Symmetrical features doesn’t mean those features are particularly good looking. One can have small beady yet symmetrical eyes. Thin dry but symmetrical lips. A straight yet unattractive nose. And a symmetrical face does not say anything about obesity levels either.

    On the other hand someone may have large beautiful eyes yet one slightly smaller or lower than the other. Large sensuous lips yet a slightly asymmetrical smile. A slightly crooked but cute nose, etc.

  • chris

    “Men aren’t women. Seeing our competitors in pain does not provide pleasure. Winning is enough. Its the rare male who gloats and yes, they are typically the guy you want to walk 10 feet around in a crowd.”

    A 2006 study indicates that men, but not women, enjoy seeing bad/unjust/unfair people suffer.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636868/

    Empathic neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness of others

    “Both sexes exhibited empathy-related activation in pain-related brain areas (fronto-insular and anterior cingulate cortices) towards fair players. However, these empathy-related responses were significantly reduced in males when observing an unfair person receiving pain. This effect was accompanied by increased activation in reward-related areas, correlated with an expressed desire for revenge. We conclude that in men (at least) empathic responses are shaped by valuation of other people’s social behaviour, such that they empathize with fair opponents while favouring the physical punishment of unfair opponents, a finding that echoes recent evidence for altruistic punishment.”

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @OTC

    I did not tell him bang her to and dump her.

    Though literally true, I believe I can read between the lines of vicarious or otherwise unrestricted advice. If we’re talking about a girl who’s looking for something serious, there’s really nothing demonstrably different IMO between advocating a P&D vs. a short-term fling or a FWB situation. “Use her and lose her” for an hour, or over a longer period of time…

    It was rather ironic, coming on the heels of a different discussion WRT women and serial monogamy. Unless they were either abstinent or sleeping with their intended, women were basically guilty of causing deep psychological damage to the men they were seriously involved with. Given that reasoning, I suppose most young women would qualify as “atomic bitches” at one time or another… :shock:

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    “Which I think is the point we are trying to make. Realizing that banging a new hottie every week is SOME guy idea of success. It doesn’t has to be yours is not relabelling failure but realizing that goals can be wrong from the very beginning, capisce?”

    No success is externally granted. Being a homeless guy who likes his job wiping windshields (btw, think he makes more than I do) doesn’t make him successful.
    The only reason to relabel something (as you and I have suggested) is by the gain of new information that invalidates the old model. Relabelling it because you feel bad is ridiculous.

    Also, I haven’t actually defined successful yet. Your description is what I would call extreme overkill.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “In this way, she’ll get a strong and healthy child genetically, even if she has to raise it herself. Alternatively, she could get a less attractive male who was willing to help her raise the child.”

    Or she could do both. That doesn’t mean its common but it does occur.

  • Lokland

    “I did not tell him bang her to and dump her.”

    I did, word for word.

  • Ted D

    Lokland – “You do understand my problem though, achieving cognitive dissonance that allows happiness requires relabelling failure as something acceptable.
    My INTJ doesn’t do that trick.”

    Oh I get it. I guess my INTJ is a little more flexible, although it took a lot of effort to get it there. For instance: my first marriage was obviously a failure since it resulted in divorce. However, had I not failed that first marriage, I wouldn’t have met my current wife and be in a much better mental and physical state today. So, although I still consider my first marriage a failure, I also see it as a necessary one to learn some valuable lessons going forward.

    I’m also working on not giving a shit about the little stuff, which is producing mixed results. I never really considered myself a perfectionist, but the more I look the more I see it in my mental behavior. I’m less interested in physical perfection (meaning perfection in the “real world”) and much more concerned with mental perfection. (meaning perfect thought processes, harmonious moral and ethical judgments, minimum cognitive dissonance, etc.) Now that I’m noticing it, I’m starting to think I have a bit of OCD around my thoughts and beliefs. Perhaps some kind of defense mechanism to protect me from manipulation? Or as I’m starting to believe, I may be nuts.

    Megaman – “Though literally true, I believe I can read between the lines of vicarious or otherwise unrestricted advice.”

    Or maybe you are reading something that isn’t there? I remember mostly guys telling him not to discount her just because the flake was stuck in his head. I remember guys saying the age difference wasn’t a big deal. If it was a young Zach considering the affections of this 19yo, I may have gone on the defensive. But seriously, this is Cooper we are talking about. He’s a good guy, and he isn’t going to P&D anyone anytime soon.

    I’d freaking shit gold eggs if a guy like Cooper (as far as I can gauge him in the interwebs of course) showed up to take my soon to be 19yo daughter out. Maybe we just didn’t steer him away from the player route because we all figured that isn’t where his head is anyway.

    Quote from Lokland – “I did, word for word.”

    LOL well OK maybe one or two guys suggested it…

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Ted

    Or maybe you are reading something that isn’t there?

    Heh, could be, which would mean the male cynicsm around here is rubbing off and I need a break… :wink:

    Though I did go back and re-read the thread. It was suggested that he go “casual”, one way or another. My only advice (on such advice) is to always consider the source…

  • Ted D

    Megaman – LOL yeah the source is key. If I EVER use the word “casual” in relation to dating, just assume I mean CASUAL DATING, not casual sex. Seriously, I simply do not consider sex a part of every dating relationship. In fact, I’d say that IMO sex shouldn’t be on the table at all until past the casual dating part and onto the exclusive relationship part, but it gets confusing because technically that is STILL considered “dating”. I tend to see it as pre-engagment, but I’m an old fashioned kind of guy. ;-)

  • Sai

    Cooper has more options? Yay~
    I will remember everyone’s parents in my prayers,

  • OffTheCuff

    Mega: Sure, any sort of MTR with an in-built expectation of it ending at some point, is not much different than a fling, and not an LTR to me. But there’s nothing wrong with a fling or MTR. The girl is pretty up front with what she wants, I encourage Coop to do the same, and see where it goes.

    Lok: Pretty cold. I can’t see myself ever doing that. Sure, things might have mutually fallen off after a short time, but a true “Company of Men” P&D where one party wants to keep things going and the other goes ghost, seems cruel. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who deserves that, and I hope I never do.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Ted

    Seriously, I simply do not consider sex a part of every dating relationship… I tend to see it as pre-engagment, but I’m an old fashioned kind of guy.

    Hah, you and I should’ve grown up ~75 years ago. Casual dating for fun (with no overt sexual implications) was the norm from the 1930s through the mid-1960s (I believe). Our love lives would’ve been much more colorful growing up… :wink:

  • Snow Flake

    “No, Sexual Strategies theory says some women will forego the co-parenting all together if the guy is hot enough. In this way, she’ll get a strong and healthy child genetically, even if she has to raise it herself. Alternatively, she could get a less attractive male who was willing to help her raise the child. The ideal, of course, would be to have the hottest guy be a “dad” instead of a “cad,” but that is rare. Most women will make the tradeoff, according to SS Theory.”

    Well hot looking doesn’t necessarily mean the healthiest. The less hot guy could be healthier.

  • OTC

    I wish I did, too Mega. The 40′s would be my ideal time to come of age. But I was born when I was, and had to adapt or die.

  • Thauron

    The elephant in the room is that there are two distinct human mating strategies:

    Quality vs Quantity

    The disconnect is that we now have the pill and abortions which mask the consequences of the impulse to the “Quantity.”

    The evidence presented in this post seems to affirm that people at the upper end of the spectrum are going for Quality and people at the lower end counter with Quantity.

  • Jackie

    @Cooper
    Way to go, Coop! 8-) :mrgreen:

    @OTC
    “Is there one drop of love you can express, one ounce of gratitude”

    The key is expressing it in the right way, so there’s is a chance of it coming back. Otherwise you can express for years, and have little come back. Eventually you get tired, and close up shop. I think there’s a limit on what we can give before people burn out.”
    ===
    OTC, I *think* we are on the same page: I believe in giving without expectation from a place of abundance. I absolutely despise the idea of “give til it hurts” or when I see some poor family bankrupting themselves to tithe. :(

    Like I said earlier, we may not know the forms our giving will be returned to us.

    I’ll give you an example: One of my “secret Valentines” was to my next door neighbor. The guy has thought I am a freakshow ever since I started perambulating my cats on leashes. I know, also, that he is a super-grump and a crab apple in general. This guy is NEVER going to approve of me, much less give me a valentine! So what?!

    I give/gave because I am happy, because I am free from crippling worry. And, even though that guy wasn’t going to give anything look at what I received on Valentine’s, even though I wasn’t expecting anything:

    *Roses
    *Candy & Chocolates
    *Heart Cookies
    *Mac Book Pro (I’m teaching myself PhotoShop: Here is my inspiration:
    http://fatcatart.ru/gallery-2/?lang=en )
    *Card with bonus $
    *News that I will get to move to an *awesome* new place

    I think a lot of giving (and receiving) has to do with letting go of expectations and being open to possibilities, and, even, miracles. :)

  • Sammy

    Ah. Yes, I always suspected this too…

    My own view of it grew out of reading the same theme, frequently, on craigslist W4M postings…

    That theme is essentially “I’m tired of the bar scene” / “I’m looking for a more than that.”

    Well, of course you are, honey. I think we all are (except for men who are particularly hell-bent on quantity). But, you *would* have taken a break from “the bar scene”, a long time ago, if you were really hot.

    Because more attractive men would be falling over each other to get you longer-term… and you would have chosen your way out of that “scene” by now.

    So what you’re really saying is…. “The better guys don’t call back or stop calling back.”

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  • kate

    not true every girl i know and i know I’m a female but I have a lot of male friends and the girls I know who are 9-10 have been around the block several times. I can think of several a girl who is now a model and who is super hot another girl who slept with everyone who could easily be a model. It’s because they start sleeping around before they learn to say no and they have more opportunities to do so as guys are literally knocking at their front door.

  • Teresa

    On what criterion did they rate “sexual attractiveness”? It’s extremely subjective and hard to study/quantify.

    Personally, I think this study is shit.

  • Jo

    “When I think back to the hottest/most popular girls in school, none of them is married. The married ones with kids are the plainer girls who were less glam and less popular with the hot guys.

    How to explain that?”

    I think it’s to do with being confident and picky. Attractive women can feel more confident that they can attract men and feel less worried about being choosey. The less attractive women are worried about being alone and much less choosey. They end up getting marriage to decent (but not perfect) men. The attractive women gradually get older, maybe have successful careers. Most of the decent men by this time are already married. As the attractive women become older they become less attractive
    to the men they want as partners and they end up alone. They may see their sexuality as such an asset (in the workplace/career) that they would not give it up for children (or any relationship that might lead to children).

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